O'Connor lands Leinster role
Dublin - Australia's Matt O'Connor has been appointed as the new head coach of
Leinster on a three-year deal starting on July 1, the Irish province
announced on Monday.
The 42-year-old O'Connor, currently with English
giants Leicester, will take over from Joe Schmidt following the New
Zealander's appointment as Ireland coach in succession to Declan Kidney.
Australia international O'Connor has been with Leicester, working under
Richard Cockerill, since 2009 and in that time has helped the Tigers
win two Premiership titles.
Leicester are also through to this
season's English title play-offs but the chance to be in charge of a
leading side such as reigning European champions Leinster was too much
of an opportunity for former Australia A coach O'Connor to turn down.
"I am delighted to join Leinster," O'Connor said in a Leinster statement .
playing staff, coaching team and facilities are first-class, and I have
been hugely encouraged by the hunger within the province to push on
despite enjoying an unprecedented period of success on the field in
"I look forward to working with the province's
established and burgeoning talent from the renowned Leinster academy,
and I am also pleased to work with the current coaching team who have
played such a key part in the province's success over the last four
"At this time my focus remains with Leicester, but I would
like to thank the Leinster board for this vote of confidence. My family
and I are hugely excited about starting this new chapter in our lives."
may have failed in their bid this term to win a third successive
European Cup title, and a fourth in all, but a side featuring Ireland
great Brian O'Driscoll remain in contention for three trophies - the
European Challenge Cup, the Celtic League and the British and Irish Cup.
in O'Connor they believe they have the man to oversee yet more success,
with Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson saying: "We are delighted
that Matt has agreed to become head coach, and we believe that he will
be carry on the fine work which has been done over the course of the
last eight years.
"Matt joins Leinster with an impressive
pedigree. We were impressed by his vision for Leinster Rugby, and
speaking to him it is clear that he is excited about the opportunity. We
look forward to working with him over the coming years."