Wellington - Former All Blacks centre Aaron Mauger confirmed on Tuesday he is to be the new head coach of the Leicester Tigers from the start of the 2015-16 European Premiership season.
Mauger, 33, has signed a three-year contract which takes effect at the end of next year's Super rugby championship after he finishes his third term as an assistant coach of the Crusaders.
The 45-Test inside centre played 53 games for the Tigers at the end of his international career and captained the side for much of the 2008 and 2009 seasons before retiring with a chronic back injury.
"I have awesome memories of my time at Leicester as a player and it is a place I will very happily return to," Mauger said.
"I feel incredibly lucky to have the chance to do that as the head coach for the club and the timing is right for me to grab that opportunity.
"My aim is to help create the framework for Leicester to once again be amongst the top clubs in European and world rugby."
Leicester have been without a permanent head coach since Matt O'Connor left for Leinster in May last year and the club's director of rugby Richard Cockerill has covered the role since.
The 10-time English premiership winning team, which finished third last season, includes two former All Blacks and Crusaders teammates of Mauger - Brad Thorn and Scott Hamilton, as well as England internationals Tom Croft, Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs.