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Former Ireland under-20 coach Noel McNamara is poised to became a senior coach at The Sharks in South Africa.

The IRFU has confirmed that he'll leave his role as Leinster's Academy manager after being "appointed to a senior coaching role with a South African URC franchise."

McNamara took up the role at Leinster after steering the Ireland 20s to a Six Nations Grand Slam in the same year.

While The Sharks have yet to confirm the appointment, it's expected that former Clongowes Wood coach will be moving to the Durban franchise.

"I am grateful to the IRFU and Leinster Rugby for helping to facilitate this move which will be another great learning and development opportunity for me as a coach," McNamara said.
"I have received great support to date on my coaching journey garnering experience with multiple underage teams, exposure to senior provincial and national coaches and getting the opportunity of a three month placement with North Harbour in New Zealand.
"This appointment is exciting for both me and my family and I am looking forward to getting started."

Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
The IRFU's Performance Director, David Nucifora, thinks McNamara's stint in South Africa will benefit Irish rugby in the long-term.
"Noel is a smart ambitious young coach who has achieved success at underage level.  This is an exciting senior role for Noel in South Africa where he will be exposed to a different rugby and coaching culture and which will no doubt greatly benefit his development.
"Noel has progressed through the coaching pathway in Ireland and in recent discussions with Noel, it was clear that he was in need of a fresh challenge that would help accelerate his coaching career.
"We looked at different environments and what could be a good fit and this definitely offers a fantastic opportunity in a senior role."

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