Andy Farrell joins Munster as temporary advisor

Andy Farrell was defence coach for the victorious British and Irish Lions in 2013
Andy Farrell was defence coach for the victorious British and Irish Lions in Australia in 2013

Incoming Ireland defence coach and former England assistant Andy Farrell has joined Munster in a temporary advisory role.

The 40-year-old, who will take up his Ireland position after the Six Nations, will provide part-time support to Munster for four months.

Munster have struggled this season and have suffered a European Champions Cup exit at the group stage.

Farrell will assist Munster head coach Anthony Foley and his coaching group.

Former rugby league international Farrell lost his England job following head coach Stuart Lancaster's resignation after their World Cup exit.

"We have been looking for additional support for our coaching staff," said Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald.

"With the timely availability of an experienced coach such as Andy Farrell, we felt his inclusion would be hugely beneficial in assisting our coaching team."

Munster lie fifth in the Pro12 standings and Saturday's 27-7 defeat by Stade Francais in the European Champions Cup left the two-time winners with only five points from four pool games.

"Andy's gardening leave prevents him from coaching in the international game at this time but he has agreed to an advisory role working with Anthony and his backroom team," said IRFU performance director David Nucifora.

Munster coach Anthony Foley insisted that he didn't feel undermined by Farrell's appointment.

"Last week I was very positive about him (as Ireland defence coach), today I'm even more positive about him," said Foley.

"He's a professional and he's a gentleman. I think within an environment like what we have it's about creating the best environment for our players to achieve stuff."