Former Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor has been announced as Leicester Tigers new head coach and for what will be his second time in charge at Welford Road.
Currently assistant coach to the Tonga national side, O’Connor returns to the club where he won three Aviva Premiership titles, before departing in 2013 to take over at Leinster.
Continuing his winning ways with the Irish province, the Australian guided Leinster to the Pro 12 title in his first season. However, after only two years of his three year term, O’Connor was sacked in favour of current boss Leo Cullen.
In a statement released on the official Leicester Tigers website, club chairman Peter Tom CBE said,
“We are delighted that Matt O’Connor has accepted an offer to return to Welford Road.
“The club has conducted an exhaustive search to find who we feel is the right person to take the team forward and this brought up the names of a number of potentially very good coaches. One of the most significant factors in our deliberations was experience of the Premiership and what it takes to win the competition.
“Matt has that experience as head coach during a successful period which brought three league titles, an Anglo-Welsh Cup and the club’s most recent appearance in the European Cup Final. The team also topped the try-scoring figures in the Premiership four times in that five-year period with Matt in charge of the attack.”
Following a tumultuous few months that has seen former director of rugby Richard Cockerill depart and head coach turned director of rugby Aaron Mauger now also about to exit stage left, fans will be hoping O’Connor can restore calm and order to the Tigers and with it, bring the good times back to Welford Road.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena