Current Italy assistant coach Mike Catt will join the Ireland backroom team following the completion of this year’s Rugby World Cup and ahead of the 2020 Six Nations.
Attack coach with Conor O’Shea’s Italy since March 2016, Catt previously held a similar role with England between 2012 and 2015. Prior to that he was a player-coach and attack coach at London Irish for four years.
As a player, Catt was a World Cup winner with England in 2003, winning 75 caps for his country, and a two-time tourist with the British & Irish Lions (1997 and 2001). During his playing career he won four Six Nations titles with England, three English Premiership titles and a European Cup with Bath.
IRFU performance director David Nucifora commented: ”Mike brings a wealth of experience to the coaching group and has been operating at the highest level of the international game for some time.
“He was a smart and innovative player and he brings those attributes and much more besides in his approach to coaching and player development. We feel that we have secured a talented practitioner who will add significant value to the group and to the wider Irish system.”
Catt said: “I am looking forward to the Rugby World Cup in Japan and seeing the group of players we have here in Italy fulfil their potential and achieve the objectives we have set for ourselves. Obviously it is an honour to be given this future opportunity with Ireland but I will focus on that challenge only after I have given my all for Italy and this group of players.”
Catt’s contract will see him involved with the Ireland team up to and including the Rugby World Cup in 2023.