Easterby leaves Scarlets to join Ireland

Welsh Rugby club the Scarlets have confirmed that they have released their head coach Simon Easterby in order to allow him to take up a role in Ireland’s international coaching set-up.

The move, which was finalised between the IRFU and Scarlets Board this week, will allow Easterby to pursue one of his biggest career ambitions – to coach the international side and country that he won 65 caps for between 2000 and 2008.

His international career saw him become the most capped back row forward for Ireland whilst playing, and with an Irish mother and brother Guy Easterby, another former international currently Team Manager at Leinster – a future career path in Ireland was mapped out for the highly-regarded Scarlets Head Coach.

Described by Easterby as an “emotional decision”, he said he was grateful to the Region for supporting him in the move and will stay on throughout the pre-season and start of Scarlets season before moving to Ireland, to ensure a smooth hand-over.

A dedicated Scarlet, Easterby first joined the West Wales Region in 1999 with a distinguished career for Llanelli and Scarlets which saw him captain his side for five consecutive seasons making 196 appearances and scoring 19 tries and playing more than 50 European games in the Scarlets jersey.

Easterby said: “I am very grateful to the Scarlets Board for allowing this to happen and for respecting and supporting my ambition and development as a coach at international level. It’s a huge opportunity for me in Ireland and one I am very excited about, but it’s been a very emotional decision to leave the Region that has been such a major part of my rugby career.

“What makes it easier is the knowledge that we have a strong coaching structure in place and a very balanced playing squad that has not changed dramatically over the summer. We’ve worked hard to make good quality signings that will further strengthen our squad and I believe Scarlets Rugby will go forward very positively next season.

Chief Executive of the Scarlets Region Mark Davies said that Simon Easterby’s progression to an international coaching role was always on the cards.

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