London Irish has announced today that Brian “Billy” Melrose has been appointed as the Club’s new Elite Player Performance Manager on a permanent contract.

Joining Toby Booth’s coaching team in July, Brian will be responsible for the development of the current elite players; to help maximise individual skills and on-field performance.  He will also lead on the sourcing and recruitment of new talent to meet the squad’s future requirements and help ensure the Club’s continued progression and success.

A top-class Australian coach, Brian has most recently been at Connacht in the Magners League as their backs coach. During an illustrious career, Melrose has enjoyed spells with Australian Super Rugby side New South Wales Waratahs, where he was the attack and kicking coach, as well as time with the Australian U20’s side and the Sevens team.

Andy Martin, London Irish Chief Executive said: “This new elite player performance manager role will form a key part our strategy for success and being able to attract someone of Brian’s calibre clearly demonstrates the undoubted potential of London Irish.  I am confident that with Toby, Mike, Justin and now Brian also on board, we have a world class coaching set up that will lead the Club to great things.”

London Irish head coach Toby Booth said: “London Irish places a great deal of importance on the development of its players both on and off the field and the advancement of our development programme is vital for maximising positive performance on match days.  I am delighted that Brian will be joining the team, he brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience which I know will command great respect amongst the squad from the outset.”

Brian, who will join the club for the start of pre-season training said: “I am very much looking forward to the challenge that awaits at Sunbury. There are a lot of talented young and established players within the squad and I look forward to working with each them.”