Nottingham Rugby’s new head coach Ian Costello will begin work at Lady Bay next month after replacing Martin Haag at the helm.

Costello will join the Greens from Munster, having been with the Irish giants for six years, most recently as assistant coach.

“For me, this is without question one of the biggest challenges,” he said.

“It takes me a long way out of my comfort zone.

“My family… we’ve never lived outside Ireland.

“It’s a massive challenge that we’re really excited about.”

And his long-term vision is to lead the Green and Whites, who finished in seventh place in the Championship last season, into the top flight.

“The first year is about building as much as I can on top of the great work that has been done by the previous coaching and management,” he added.

“The aim has to be to build on the work that has been done in the first year, then I think we’ll be in a better position to assess how long the project will take.

Progressing and rebuilding is also a process that general manager Steve Smith thinks is vital ahead of the start of next season.

He said: “We have the main target of developing what we started last season.

“We currently have some young, ambitious and hungry players on our ranks, we have strong links with Nottingham Trent University through the Rugby programme there and some of the guys at NTU have made the journey into our first team.”

Despite there been a strong focus on football and cricket in Nottingham, according to Mr Smith, rugby is slowly catching up.

He added: “We have had some of our games televised. We’re getting around 3,000 people each game and we have a long term goal of representing Nottingham at the highest level, which is the premiership.”