Englishman Bemand will join the IRFU on 21 August ahead of the Ireland squad’s reconvening in September and he will be in place ahead of the start of Ireland’s WXV3 campaign in Dubai, which includes matches on 14, 21 and 28 October (fixtures tbc). He will be joined by the existing coaching panel for the coming campaign.
A former professional rugby union player at Harlequins, Leicester Tigers and Bath, upon his retirement from the game Scott embarked on his coaching career. In May 2015, Bemand was appointed lead coach of the England Women XVs team, working alongside Simon Middleton, who initially held a joint role with the Sevens team. He was part of the coaching set-up as England finished runners up at the 2017 and 2022 Women’s Rugby World Cups. During his time as England’s Lead Coach, the Red Roses won six Six Nations titles (including five Grand Slams) and achieved the number one world ranking.
Commenting on his appointment, Ireland Women’s Head Coach Scott Bemand said:
“I am proud to join the IRFU at this exciting time for the game in Ireland. It is clear speaking to the IRFU across the course of the interview process how ambitious they are to grow the women’s game and I believe that there is a promising talent pool of players who will help create a new chapter for the game here. I look forward to working with the players and coaches and shaping a new path.”
Meanwhile, the IRFU is also pleased to confirm that Elaine Ryan has agreed to become the IRFU Women’s XV National Teams Programme Manager. A former Ireland Sevens international (between 2013-17), Elaine previously held the positions of IRFU Under-18 and Development Sevens Team Manager and Women XV’s Team Manager between 2016 and 2019. She will begin her new role on 4th September having held a teaching position in Australia in recent years.
IRFU Women’s XV National Teams Programme Manager Elaine Ryan commented: “I believe that the future is bright for the women’s game in Ireland and I am proud to rejoin the IRFU as we embark on some exciting challenges in the months ahead. I look forward to working together with the players and management to deliver on our objectives.”
Welcoming the new arrivals, IRFU Head of Women’s Performance & Pathways Gillian McDarby added: “We are delighted to announce Scott’s appointment and believe that he will bring a fresh and dynamic approach to the Ireland coaching set-up. It was clear from the extensive interview process that Scott was a strong candidate and he is passionate and focused on driving women’s rugby in Ireland forward at all levels in the months and years to come.
“His knowledge of the existing landscape in Ireland and across the international game means that he is well placed to hit the ground running as the squad steps up its preparations for WXV in Dubai this autumn. We are also pleased to welcome back Elaine. She is hugely knowledgeable and passionate about Irish rugby and I believe that Elaine’s experience and skillset will add greatly to the environment over the coming years.”