Geordan Murphy takes over at Leicester as Matt O’Connor exits

Head coach leaves after an opening Premiership weekend thrashing at Exeter

Geordan Murphy has taken over at Leicester Tigers on a temporary basis. Photo: Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Geordan Murphy has taken over at Leicester Tigers on a temporary basis. Photo: Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

 

Head coach Matt O’Connor has left Leicester Tigers with immediate effect after just one game of the new Gallagher Premiership season.

Australian O’Connor had been in charge at Welford Road since April 2017 but departs following Saturday’s 40-6 thrashing at the hands of Exeter Chiefs.

The 47-year-old former Tigers player will be replaced on an interim basis by assistant coach and former Ireland winger Geordan Murphy.

Leicester chairman Peter Tom told the club website: “Matt was appointed head coach in April 2017 on the basis of his previous Premiership experience and his knowledge of the club.

“But we believe the time is right to make this change in the best interests of the Tigers moving forward.

“We would like to thank Matt for his hard work and commitment to the club in two spells at Welford Road, and we wish him and his family well for the future.”

Murphy, an eight-time Premiership title winner and double European champion in 16 years as a Tigers player, will take control of the first-team, assisted by coaches Mark Bakewell, Boris Stankovich and Brett Deacon.

“As a club, Leicester Tigers will always aspire to challenge for major honours in the incredibly competitive arena of professional elite club rugby and everyone at the club will fully support Geordan and the management group in driving the team forward,” added Tom.

“Geordan knows the expectations and ambitions of the Tigers as well as anyone after more than 20 years here as player and coach, and we wish him and the team the very best for the challenges ahead.”

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