A star player in league and union, he's now excelling in coaching

Andy Farrell became Ireland‘s head coach after Joe Schmidt stepped down following the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Here is the background info you need on the dual-code star…

Ten things you should know about Andy Farrell

1. Andy Farrell was born 30 May 1975 and he started in rugby as a player.

He played professionally both in rugby league and union, with his clubs being Wigan and Saracens.

2. Internationally, Farrell competed for Great Britain and England in rugby league, and England in rugby union.

3. He started coaching at Saracens in 2010 as skills coach and later moved up to be first-team coach.

In 2011, he was named as part of the coaching staff for England and was involved with the national team until the end of RWC 2015.

In 2016 he moved to be a defence coach with Ireland and then succeeded Joe Schmidt as head coach at the end of 2019.

4. Farrell was the British & Irish Lions defence coach on the 2013 tour of Australia and 2017 tour of New Zealand.

In 2024 he was appointed as the new Lions head coach, succeeding Warren Gatland.

5. He received an OBE in 2004 for services to rugby league.

6. He and wife Colleen have four children together. His eldest son, Owen Farrell, plays for Saracens and England.

7. Farrell made his debut for Wigan at 16 and was captaining England by the age of 21.

8. In 2004, he won rugby league’s Golden Boot award.

9. Farrell has spoken about being on the opposite team to son Owen and said he’s proud of how well they are both doing.

Andy Farrell

Andy Farrell with his son Owen during his time in the England set-up (Getty Images)

He told the Daily Mail: “It is certainly not weird for us because it has never been any different. It is as professional as it gets because that is all we have known, with Owen being a professional and me being a professional coach.

“I am proud of the situation — as a father and him as a son — and how it is handled, because it is one of utmost respect, but of professionalism first and foremost.”

10. Farrell has an impressive coaching record against New Zealand.

He was working with England when they beat the All Blacks in 2012, the Lions when they won in Wellington in 2017 and Ireland for their wins in 2016, 2018 and 2021. He also won a Test series with Ireland in 2022 against the All Blacks, the first time an Irish team had won a series in New Zealand.

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