Ireland have announced that Italy assistant coach Mike Catt will join the coaching panel at the end of the World Cup scheduled in Japan later this year.
The move will also see Andy Farrell, who will take in charge of Ireland with Joe Schmidt stepping down after the showpiece event reuniting with Catt after both worked under Stuart Lancaster for England.
Catt has featured in 75 Tests for the red rose team between 1994 and 2007 and has also made a solitary appearance for the British and Irish Lions in 1997. Born in South Africa, Catt also featured in two World Cup finals for England in 2003 - which was also their maiden title win and in 2007.
“I am looking forward to the Rugby World Cup in Japan and seeing the group of players we have here in Italy fulfil their potential and achieve the objectives we have set for ourselves," he said.
"Obviously it is an honour to be given this future opportunity with Ireland but I will focus on that challenge only after I have given my all for Italy and this group of players.”
Meanwhile, Irish Rugby Football Union Director David Nucifora had high praise for Catt and is confident that his experience will be handy for the side.
"Mike brings a wealth of experience to the coaching group and has been operating at the highest level of the international game for some time.
“He was a smart and innovative player and he brings those attributes and much more besides in his approach to coaching and player development.
"We feel that we have secured a talented practitioner who will add significant value to the group and to the wider Irish system.”