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Andy Friend won't have role in finding Connacht successor

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Andy Friend says he will not have an official role in finding his replacement at Connacht.Friend confirmed one of rugby's worst-kept secrets last week when announcing he will step down as director of rugby at the end of the season.Connacht are due to begin the search for his successor but Friend does not expect to play any part in that recruitment drive."No, I haven’t [been asked]," said the Australian. "Certainly not an official role."Willie [Ruane, Connacht’s chief executive] and I converse regularly and very often I am asked my opinion on things but that process there is for Willie and the board."If he does ask me my opinion I will be happy to share it, but at the moment I haven’t been."Friend, who succeeded Kieran Keane as Connacht head coach on a three-year contract in May 2018, never envisaged he would end up spending five years in Galway.His coaching stints with the likes of Harlequins, Brumbies and Australia Sevens all lasted around three years, but from the moment he arrived into the Sportsground it felt like a great fit for both parties."Having been around rugby for a long time, when you sign a three-year contract you're not even guaranteed the first three years.

I certainly wasn’t envisaging five years," said Friend."When Willie offered me a two-year extension, it was a pretty easy decision because we’ve loved our time here.

But it was also at that time that I said, 'if I do stay on for the next two years that will be it’."Four and a half years later, I’ve loved every moment and really want to see these last six months out and hopefully finish playing the best footy that we’ve played."Back in Galway and ready for @URCOfficial action

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