Wednesday 17 January 2018

Leinster set to confirm Cullen as coach

Leo Cullen is set to take the reins at Leinster
Leo Cullen is set to take the reins at Leinster
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

As reported in last Thursday’s Irish Independent, Leo Cullen is set to be confirmed as Leinster’s new head coach on a full time basis.

A report in a Sunday newspaper said that the deal is yet to be ratified by the IRFU’s performance director, David Nucifora but Cullen is understood to be the province’s preference to take over from Matt O’Connor.

The former second-row only retired from playing 14-months ago and has since been Leinster’s forwards coach.

Cullen was installed as interim coach but the three-time Heineken Cup winner looks certain to take control.

Senior players like Mike Ross and Rob Kearney have already given their backing to Cullen with the latter saying:

“I think it’s brilliant. Last year we provably moved away from some aspects of our culture seemed to diminish a bit. Leo’s huge strength is that he’s a Leinster man through and through.

“He understands what it took during those tough years to get us from a team of nearlies to be a really good achieving team in Europe,” Kearney added.

It is believed that Cullen has been offered at least a two-year contract and although it has come a lot earlier in his coaching career than many would have expected, the 37-year old’s familiarity with the squad will count in his favour.

Leinster remain on the hunt for a backs coach with academy manager Girvan Dempsey currently filling the void, temporarily.

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