Connacht assistant coach Dan McFarland is leaving the club at the end of the current season.
The former prop, who played for the province from 2000 to 2006, carved out an excellent coaching reputation with Connacht Rugby, having first been appointed as forwards coach in 2006 and then assistant coach in 2010.
McFarland, who also played for Richmond and Stade Francais, became the second player (after Eric Elwood ) to chalk up 100 caps for Connacht when he played against Munster in 2005.
In 2007, he linked up with Elwood to guide the Ireland U-20s team to a grand slam of victories in the Six Nations Championship. His international coaching accolades extended to stints with the Emerging Ireland tours and most recently, the Ireland Wolfhounds in January of this year.
McFarland said it had been a difficult decision.
“ Connacht Rugby has been such a large part of my life for a long time but I feel the time has come to explore new avenues and different challenges.”
CEO Willie Ruane said McFarland had been an oustanding servant to the province.
"Dan has been outstanding in his role with Connacht Rugby over the last 15 years. From player to coach, his influence has been a huge asset to the club. His passion and determination to see this place succeed could never be questioned and he will be greatly missed by all those who have worked with him.”