Leinster have their eyes on Tigers boss O’Connor

Australian set to replace Ireland-bound Schmidt

Leicester head coach Matt O’Connor (left), seen  here with Tigers’ director of rugby Richard Cockerill, looks set to replace Joe Schmidt as Leinster coach.    Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Leicester head coach Matt O’Connor (left), seen here with Tigers’ director of rugby Richard Cockerill, looks set to replace Joe Schmidt as Leinster coach. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Sun, Apr 28, 2013, 12:21

Leinster have moved quickly to fill the head coaching position set to be vacated by Ireland-bound Joe Schmidt after it emerged that Leicester boss Matt O’Connor is set to join the Irish province.

The 42-year-old Australian was in Dublin during the week and held talks with the IRFU and Leinster’s senior players.

Schmidt is expected to be named as the new Ireland coach tomorrow and Leinster and the IRFU are keen to sort out his replacement ahead of the summer break.

O’Connor, who made his name as backs coach with the Brumbies, is out of contract at Welford Road at the end of the season.

Capped once by Australia in the centre against Ireland in 1994, O’Connor took over the head coaching role with Leicester from Heyneke Meyer in June 2010 and has worked under director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

Under his leadership, Leicester have finished top of the English Premiership for the last two seasons and made it out of the pool stages in the Heineken Cup twice in three seasons.

O’Connor is believed to be happy to work with the existing coaching set-up at Leinster.