Leinster confirm O'Connor capture from Tigers
May 6, 2013
Matt O'Connor is targeting an Aviva Premiership title with Leicester Tigers © PA Photos
Leinster have announced Matt O'Connor as their new head coach, confirming his decision to leave Leicester Tigers and sign a three-year contract.
O'Connor takes over from Joe Schmidt, who was recently named the new head coach of Ireland. He arrives in Dublin on July 1 having spent five trophy-laden seasons at Leicester.
"I am delighted to join Leinster," O'Connor said. "The 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 recent years.
"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 years.
"At this time my focus remains with Leicester, but I would like to thank the Leinster board for this vote of confidence and my family and I are hugely excited about starting this new chapter in our lives."
O'Connor's immediate focus must remain on Leicester's Aviva Premiership challenge, which brings a semi-final showdown against Harlequins at Welford Road on Saturday. They are looking for a first Premiership title in three years.
Leinster, though, will keenly await the arrival of their new coach, who won one cap for Australia as a player. Chief executive Mick Dawson said: "We're 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 under his belt at club level with the Brumbies - who were provincial champions in 2006 - and Leicester Tigers - who have boasted the league's best defensive record (in 2009-10) and most tries scored (between 2008-13) - during his time on their coaching team.
"We were impressed by Matt's 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.
"Obviously we're still in contention for three trophies, the Amlin Challenge Cup, PRO12 and British & Irish Cup, and all of our focus will be on trying to end the season on a high in all three competitions."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports