Denis Leamy appointed to Leinster coaching staff

Former Munster and Ireland backrow replaces Hugh Hogan as contact skills coach

The former Munster and Ireland backrow Denis Leamy has been appointed as Leinster's new contact skills coach, succeeding Hugh Hogan who took up a role as defence coach with Scarlets ahead of this season.

The 39-year-old Leamy has been working with Leinster as an Elite Player Development Officer since October 2019 and has already started his new role under head coach, Leo Cullen.

Prior to joining Leinster Rugby, Leamy played with Munster Rugby until his retirement in 2012 at the age of 30 due to a hip injury. He won 144 Munster caps having made his debut in September 2001 and played in both the 2006 and 2008 Heineken Cup finals. Leamy was also capped 57 times by Ireland, played in two World Cups, was twice a Triple Crown winner and was a member of the 2009 Grand Slam winning side.

Commenting on his appointment, Leamy said, “I am thrilled to be Leinster Rugby’s new contact skills coach.


“It is my hope to build on the great work that Hugh Hogan has done over the last four years or so.

“I would like to thank Leinster Rugby for this opportunity. It is an honour for me to be to be working with one of Europe’s premier clubs and I am very much looking forward to the challenge ahead in the coming seasons.”

Leo Cullen welcomed the addition of his former Ireland team-mate to his senior coaching team where he joins Stuart Lancaster, Robin McBryde, Felipe Contepomi and Emmet Farrell.

“Denis has been with us and in and around Leinster Rugby for a few years now so he is well established and is a familiar face. In particular working with some of our younger players in their development. He has been a huge asset to the club.

“The contact skills role is something we see as hugely important to the overall success of the senior team on a number of fronts.

“Denis is someone who has achieved and experienced so much in terms of his own playing career and has accumulated vast knowledge over the years. He was a fierce competitor on the field and he will be a great role model for our current crop of players.

“We are all very excited to see what he can bring to the role,” said Cullen.

In what looks like another typically shrewd appointment by the four-time Heineken Champions Cup winners, many Munster supporters will be somewhat puzzled and maybe even a little dismayed that one of their most celebrated players has ended up with their rivals after making such a good impression as a coach since his retirement, with Rockwell College, with Garryowen in the AIL and with Munster’s underage teams.

The Tipperary native also spent time working as head coach of Cashel RFC as well as being part of Tipperary’s 2016 All-Ireland hurling winning backroom team.

More recently Leamy has been involved with Leinster Rugby age grade sides and the Leinster Rugby ‘A’ team and he was involved with the Ireland Under-20 team as defence coach during the 2021 Six Nations.

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times