Hodge Appointed Ireland Elite Player Pathway And U18 Men’s Head Coach

Hodge Appointed Ireland Elite Player Pathway And U18 Men’s Head Coach

The IRFU is today delighted to announce the appointment of Michael Hodge as its new Elite Player Pathway and U18 Men’s Head Coach.

A former Australia Men’s Sevens international and NSW Waratahs back, Hodge brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience to the new role, which will be based out of the IRFU High Performance Centre but will involve a close working relationship with Provincial Talent Coaches around the country.

With the countdown to the third staging of the U18 Men’s Six Nations Festival underway, Hodge – who previously held coaching roles with the Australia Men’s Sevens and MLR outfit Dallas Jackals – has been busy attending Senior Cup Schools fixtures, while also spending time with the Ireland U20s and Combined Provinces squads since arriving in Ireland in January.

Hodge’s role will see him work closely with IRFU Head of Elite Player Development Peter Smyth and IRFU National Talent Squad and Talent ID Manager Wayne Mitchell.

Commenting on his appointment, Hodge said: “I’m delighted to be appointed to this new role at an extremely exciting time for Irish Rugby. The pathways and structures within Irish Rugby are world renowned and I hope to bring my experience – both as a player and a coach – to the set-up.

“I have spent the last month travelling around the country and the Provinces, connecting with Provincial Talent Coaches and gaining an understanding of the landscape. Being full-time affords you the opportunity to use that time to maximum effect and I’m looking forward to selecting our first U18s squad at the end of March ahead of the Six Nations Festival.”

The Men’s U18s Six Nations Festival takes place at Parma’s Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi across three match days, involving the Six Nations Unions and, for the first time, Georgia and Portugal.
A key development pathway for players, the 2024 Men’s Festival takes place on Saturday, 30 March, Tuesday, 3 April and Sunday, 7 April.

Latest News