Leinster appoint Kurt McQuilkin on interim basis
Former Ireland centre will join province for two months as defence coach
Kurt McQuilkin won five caps for Ireland in the 1995-96 season and played 40 times for Leinster. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Kurt McQuilkin is to take up a temporary role for July and August as defence coach with Leinster.
The former Leinster and Irish centre, and one-time defensive coach with the province, has stepped down as head coach with his home province in New Zealand, King Country Rams, to take up the two-month contract, which suggests his return could eventually lead to something more permanent.
McQuilkin, who won five caps for Ireland in the 1995-96 season and played 40 times for Leinster, has been on the coaching circuit since his retirement from playing in 1999. In his second of two seasons as Leinster’s defensive coach, 2008-09, the province had the best-ranked defence in the Heineken Cup, which they won, and the best in the Magners League, when they finished third.
The deal is believed to have been brokered by his ex-team-mate Niall Woods through his sports agency Navy Blue. The nature of McQuilkin’s short-term deal working alongside Leo Cullen, the interim head coach following Matt O’Connor’s departure, also indicates that Leinster are in no rush to appoint a full-time replacement as head coach.