Glasgow Warriors appoint Irishman Nigel Carolan as attack coach

46-year-old has been part of the coaching set-up in his home province of Connacht since 2004, and attack coach since 2017

Nigel Carolan will be attack coach at Scotstoun next season. Image: Craig Watson -
Nigel Carolan will be attack coach at Scotstoun next season. Image: Craig Watson -

GLASGOW WARRIORS have recruited Nigel Carolan from Connacht as their new attack coach, replacing fellow Irishman Jonny Bell, who moved to Worcester Warriors at the end of the season.

The 46-year-old had been attack coach at Connacht since 2017, having previously been the province’s Head of Academy since 2004. He also coached the Ireland Under-20s side between 2014 and 2017, including the 2016 cohort containing Jacob Stockdale, Hugo Keenan and Andrew Porter which defeated New Zealand en route to a first-ever – and to date, only – appearance in a World Rugby U20 Championship Final.

Connacht boasted the third best attacking stats in the PRO14 [now United Rugby Championship] last season, only bettered by eventual finalists Leinster and Ulster. The side crossed for 53 tries, and winger Alex Wootton finished as joint top-try scorer in the competition.

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“Glasgow Warriors play an exciting brand of rugby that fits perfectly with my own philosophies on how the game should be played,” said Carolan. “I’ve also been really impressed with the clarity and direction that Danny Wilson and Al Kellock are taking the club in.

“The squad consists of world-class players and some really exciting up and coming young players. Helping those players realise their potential is something I will take a lot of pride in. At Connacht, when young players came through the academy and went on to represent their country, those were career highlights.

“I’m really looking forward to challenging myself in this new environment, learning from others and enhancing Glasgow’s attack.”

During his playing days, Carolan represented his home province of Connacht as a creative and hard-working centre or winger before being forced to hang up his boots through injury in 2000.

“Nigel is an outstanding coach whose reputation goes before him amongst players and coaches alike across the league,” said head coach Wilson.

“Connacht have had a great attack for a number of seasons and Nigel’s work has been a massive part of that.

“He is a very technical coach who really impressed us with his passion and experience not only in coaching a successful attack but also developing young talent.

“We are looking forward to him joining the club and getting started ahead of the new season.”

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About David Barnes 3669 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Really good acquisition here. Well done Glasgow and SRU. Looks a great coach and importantly a great fit.

  2. Connacht’s win over Leinster last season was a masterclass in keeping the defence guessing by mixing up the 1-pass, 2-pass and forwards-then-backs moves so the opposition could never get comfortably set. It’s not rocket science but needs a well-drilled attack with players trusting themselves and their teammates. I think this could be a great appointment.

  3. Think this could be a great fit for both Glasgow and Carolan – a highly rated coach in Ireland that has developed an attractive fast paced attacking brand of rugby with Connacht, who over the years have punched above their weight given modest resources available.

    • I’d know of Nigel and he comes with a great reputation. He is a very balanced and insightful coach who works well with players. A good man-manager with great technical knowledge. Surprised Glasgow got a hold of him and IRFU let him leave.

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