Ireland have appointed Paul Pook as strength and conditioning coach to the senior national team for the next three years.
Pook joins Ireland head coach Declan Kidney’s staff after previous spells with Ebbw Vale, Harlequins and both Wales and Ireland Under-21 teams.
Former Munster chief Kidney was appointed by the Irish Rugby Football Union in May and has finalised his line-up of coaching staff with the appointment of Pook. Like Kidney, Pook has been handed a contract until the 2011 World Cup.
Since his playing career which took in a spell playing for the Wales Sevens side, Pook has switched to the fitness side of the game on a full-time basis and has authored books on the subject.
Kidney said: “Paul brings excellent experience in this area and importantly a good understanding and knowledge of working with the provincial teams.
“As with all of the other areas of coaching, we want to be able to work closely with the provinces to allow a smooth transition for the players into and out of the Ireland team with their provincial teams and clubs, with fitness and conditioning a key element to this.
“Paul will be important in this respect and together with the level of expertise that he brings, he is a welcome addition to the management team.”
Pook said: “International rugby demands the highest levels of fitness and hopefully my background and knowledge will add something to help the team to be successful in the coming years.”