Ruddock takes Ireland youth job
August 4, 2010
Mike Ruddock has taken over as Ireland Under-20 coach © Getty Images
Former Wales and Worcester boss Mike Ruddock has taken over as coach of Ireland Under-20.
Ruddock succeeds Allen Clarke in the role after leaving the Warriors following their relegation from the Premiership, with Clarke set to focus on his position as the Irish Rugby Union's high performance director.
Previous coaching spells at Dublin side Bective Rangers and later Leinster will stand Ruddock in good stead for his new role, as will his familiarity with the structures through his sons, youth internationals Ciaran and Rhys. Rhys won his debut Test cap for the full Ireland side against Australia in June.
"The importance of this age grade level is vital and the chance to work in Irish rugby again was one I did not want to pass up on," he said. "The focus with any underage team is trying to develop players and also trying to add a winning culture to the ones that pass through the team each year.
"A good part of my coaching career has been spent here in Ireland and with my own personal experiences through Ciaran and Rhys playing for the Under-20s, I feel I have a good understanding of the systems and I am really looking forward to getting involved to help develop young players."
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton