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Girvan Dempsey set to leave Leinster after 23 years at the club

Brendan O'Brien

Girvan Dempsey will join Bath Rugby this summer, bringing a 23-year association with Leinster to an end.

The current assistant coach made his playing debut for the province in 1996, winning a Heineken Cup and two Celtic Leagues – and three Triple Crowns with Ireland.

A one-club man, he became player development manager on retirement before moving into a coaching role with the Leinster academy for the next three years.

An elevation to the senior squad, where he was attack coach, followed and he will now join up with Todd Blackadder’s backroom team in England’s West Country where he will carry out the same role.

Dempsey was one of three young Irish coaches who spent time with Joe Schmidt’s Ireland squad on last year’s summer tour - Ronan O’Gara and Felix Jones were the other – and he added a Champions Cup success to his CV last weekend with Leinster’s defeat of Racing 92 in Bilbao.

“Girv and I have been involved with Leinster and Ireland teams together since 1997 and I have shared many special memories together,” said Leinster head coach Leo Cullen. “The feeling we had together at the final whistle of Saturday’s game was one that I will cherish forever.

“Girv’s move to Bath is a great opportunity for him to continue his development as a world-class coach. We will miss him greatly but wish him, his wife Ann-Marie and their two boys the very best fir the future.”

Blackadder said: “This season we’ve learnt a lot about ourselves. We need to be more flexible in our game so that we can better tailor our attack to different opposition.

“Girvan is a fantastic addition to our team and I believe together we can go on to great things, not only next season but for years to come.”

Bath finished the Aviva Premiership regular season in sixth spot, which leaves them two outside the play-off places, but they will play Champions Cup rugby at The Rec next term.

“They have a world-class setup and playing squad,” said Dempsey. “I will be looking to bring my experiences and knowledge to support Todd and the coaching team in delivering success to this great club.”