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Western Force snap up Gaffney for Super Rugby

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Perth based Super Rugby franchise the Western Force have signed experienced coach Alan Gaffney as Attack Specialist for the 2017 Super Rugby season.

Yesterday the Force announced that current Ulster Rugby Assistant Coach, Joe Barakat, will be joining the West Australian club next season.

Barakat has coached at Ulster for the past two seasons and has primarily been responsible for defensive strategy and the contact zone.

He previously coached at the Waratahs in Sydney and had a five-year spell in Japan, while he has also held roles with the Australian U21 side and with the Fijian Rugby Union.

Joe’s final game working with Ulster will be the European Champions Cup Round Four trip to ASM Clermont Auvergne on Sunday, 18th December, before heading home to Australia.

Gaffney has worked with the Australian Rugby Union, Ireland, the Waratahs, Leinster, Munster and Saracens and has built up a vast amount of coaching experience.

Currently the National Elite Programmes Coach with the ARU, Gaffney has a decorated CV – including positions as the Wallabies and Waratahs Assistant Coach, Ireland and Leinster Backs Coach, Saracens Director of Rugby, and Munster Head Coach.

Gaffney says he is excited to be working with Wessels and helping the Force move in the right direction.

“I’ll be working with Dave (Wessels) and also with the new attack coach,” he said. “I suppose an old bugger like me has been around the traps, and that’s not to say I’m always right, but it means as a coaching group we will be able to challenge each other.”

“I think adopting a different attitude to the way they play from the last couple of years is going to be pretty exciting for the Force. There are a number of good young players that are really hungry to play and don’t play with fear, so it’s an exciting time.”

Western Force Head Coach Dave Wessels says having Gaffney as part of the coaching team will be invaluable to the club.

“Alan’s CV speaks for himself,” he said. “He’s achieved almost everything there is to achieve in rugby and has a fantastic understanding of how to build an effective attack. He’s won a Six Nations Grand Slam, a Heineken Cup and been successful with some of the best teams in the world.”

The club will also announce a full-time attack coach to work alongside Alan early next week.

“To have a wise, old head around to act as a sounding board for myself and the other coaches is going to be pretty special.”

Alan Gaffney – Professional Coaching Career:
National Elite Programmes Coach Australia (2013-present)
Senior Assistant Coach NSW Waratahs (2011–2013)
Backs Coach Ireland National Rugby Union Team (2008–2011)
Backs Coach and Technical Consultant Leinster Rugby Ireland (2008–2010)
Director of Rugby at Saracens UK (2006–2008)
Assistant Coach Australian National Rugby Union Team (2005)
Head Coach Munster Rugby Ireland (2002–2005)
Backs Coach Leinster Rugby Ireland (2000–2002)
Assistant Coach New South Wales Waratahs (1997–1999)

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