McPhillips, who will continue as Head Performance Analyst for the province, has previous coaching experience with St Marys RFC as well as Director of Rugby with Newbridge College in Co. Kildare. Most recently, he was named as head coach of the Connacht Sevens’ side that finished 3rd in the Limerick World Club 7’s in August.
Top try scorer for Connacht until Fionn Carr surpassed him in 2010, McPhillips played with Connacht from 2003 to 2008, earning 120 caps. After a coaching stint in Dublin, he returned to Connacht in 2010 to take up the role of Performance Analyst.
The new appointment completes the Connacht coaching ticket for the new season. Head Coach Pat Lam, in his third year at the helm, is joined by Jimmy Duffy, Forwards Coach, while Andre Bell and Dave Ellis will continue as Backs & Kicking Coach and Skills Coach respectively.
Pat Lam Head Coach
Jimmy Duffy Forwards Coach
Andre Bell Backs & Kicking Coach
Dave Ellis Skills Coach
Conor McPhillips Assistant Attack Coach
Commenting on the new appointment, head coach Pat Lam said:
“I’m delighted that Conor is officially joining our coaching team. He’s been with Connacht a long time - first as a player and then as an analyst but he has a coaching background as well. Since I came in two years ago he has been out with us on the training pitch and doing a lot of work behind the scenes from a coaching perspective. He is hugely passionate and I know he really enjoyed the recent sevens’ experience as a coach. He did a great job working with players that had never played the game before and under quite a bit of time pressure.
“He will still head up our analysis team but his role will also include helping me and the other coaches in structuring our team attack whilst also analysing the opponents’ attack.
“I believe that any team is only as good as the quality of the management team and the coaching group in place to run the programme. By striving to improve each player to become a better rugby player and a better person, we will improve as a team. And I have a lot of confidence and belief in our coaching group that we can continue to do that.”