Monday 20 August 2018

Grand Slam-winning coach Declan Kidney appointed London Irish director of rugby

Declan Kidney
Declan Kidney
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland's 2009 Grand Slam-winning head coach Declan Kidney has been appointed director of rugby at London Irish.

Irish were relegated from the Aviva Premiership this season but will be looking to bounce straight back up from the Championship next season.

Kidney reunited with his Grand Slam-winning defence coach Les Kiss, who signed a three-year deal wihth the club shortly after departing from Ulster, back in March and has now landed a permanent role.

“We are excited about the future,” Kidney said.

“A number of players have moved on for one reason or another, but we are very enthusiastic about the commitment that has been shown by a talented young breed of players to London Irish.

“We have an academy with a proven track record of bringing through talented young individuals, some good new signings, and senior players who have shown the willingness to help us develop a sustainable squad. If we all work hard the future can be bright for us and we can achieve all our goals.

“We are building a squad that is not just good enough to gain promotion from an extremely challenging and competitive Championship, but who can then use the lessons from this season should we get back to the Premiership in 2019.

“The potential move back into London is also an incredibly exciting prospect and I know that Mick Crossan, Brian Facer and the rest of the board are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to achieve this goal. So, I see no reason not to be a part of what could be a fantastic journey ahead for all involved.

“A special word of thanks to all London Irish supporters, who have given myself and Les a very warm welcome to the club over the last few weeks. You have certainly lived up to your reputation and we hope to repay the faith you have all shown in us by working as hard as we can over the coming months and years.”

London Irish have recently confirmed the arrivals of several new players, including Northampton Saints’ experienced fly-half Stephen Myler, World Rugby Under-20 Championship winner Tom Stephenson, United States international centre Bryce Campbell and experienced forwards Matt Rogerson and Barney Maddison.

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