Connacht’s Dan McFarland is a contender to replace Shade Munro as assistant coach at Glasgow Warriors after the surprise announcement yesterday that the latter would be leaving Scotstoun at the end of the season.
Munro has worked under head coaches Hugh Campbell, Sean Lineen and, most recently, Gregor Townsend as the club’s forwards coach for the past 12 years but will part company with the Warriors in May.
Also leaving the club are prop forward Jon Welsh who, as revealed in The Scotsman on Saturday, is joining Newcastle Falcons, and hooker Dougie Hall, who will retire at the end of the season.
According to one respected Irish source, the SRU is running the rule over McFarland as a potential replacement for the long-serving Munro. McFarland played for Connacht as a prop forward from 2000-06, the second player after Eric Elwood to earn 100 caps for the province. He then moved seamlessly into coaching, first as forward coach and latterly as assistant coach.
The parallels with the man he replaces are notable. McFarland took over as coach to the Irish Wolfhounds team that recently lost to England in the A international just as Munro coached Scotland A against the Saxons back in 2013 – albeit with a different result.
McFarland has given notice he is quitting Connacht at the end of the season to pursue what the club website calls “overseas interests”, which would apply to Glasgow – if only just.
McFarland also played for Richmond, then moved to Stade Francais, whom he helped to lift the French Top 14 title in 2000.
Since he joined the coaching team in 2006 Connacht have won a reputation as a devilishly difficult team to beat and, despite budgetary restrictions, they regularly give the big names a bloody nose. Only last season they beat Toulouse in a European tie in the south of France.