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Kieran Campbell has been promoted to the role of Ireland U20 head coach.

The former Ulster scrum-half succeeds Noel McNamara, who has stepped down after three years at the helm.

McNamara led Ireland to the U20 Grand Slam in 2019, with Campbell as part of his backroom team.

41-year old Campbell is also Ulster's current Academy Manager.

He'll be assisted by forwards coach Colin Tucker. Joining the set-up will be the former Munster back-row Denis Leamy who'll be working as defence coach.

Campbell must wait for his first game in charge, despite having already convened the squad before Christmas.

The U20 and Women's Six Nations were both suspended on Wednesday as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The postponement of the Six Nations is disappointing for the players, coaches and management," Campbell told IrishRugby.ie, "However the most important thing is people’s health and we fully understand and support the decision.

"We must all follow public health advice and the guidelines in place to protect our families and communities.

"The IRFU will explore the options and formats for the Championship to take place at a later date with Six Nations and the other Unions and we’ve been fortunate to have delivered one camp before Christmas.

"We were able to build a foundation of work through that camp and through remote video calls with the players in recent weeks.

"With this body of work completed and with being able to achieve opportunities to expose the players to some competitive game-time including the ‘A’ fixture between Ulster and Leinster this Friday, players, coaches and management will be striving to ensure the group is prepared to perform for the 2021 Championship at a later date."

IRFU Head of Elite Player Development, Peter Smyth added, "Following today’s announcement, we have begun discussions with our playing and management teams to formulate a new season plan for this age-grade.

“Meetings are already being scheduled with the other five Unions to examine windows and options to play these set of fixtures at another point in time within the remainder of the season."

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Denis Leamy IRFU Kieran Campbell Noel McNamara U20 U20 Six Nations

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