Leinster have confirmed a contract extension for head coach Leo Cullen, with the former team captain now in place to lead the province for a further two seasons.
Cullen, who won 221 caps for Leinster and was captain of three Heineken Cup winning squads, was appointed head coach at the start of the 2015/16 season and will now lead the province until the end of the 2018/19 season.
Leinster CEO Mick Dawson also confirmed that senior coach Stuart Lancaster, as well as assistant coaches Girvan Dempsey and John Fogarty, have been retained.
Speaking to the province’s website, Dawson acknowledged the hard work undertaken by Cullen in his two seasons to date at the RDS.
“I think Leo deserves enormous credit for the way he has stepped up to the mark over the last two seasons.
“There have of course been challenges and disappointments but already in his short career as head coach he has led Leinster to a Pro12 final and to successive top two regular season finishes.
“He has led the club to the last four of the Champions Cup this season, having already finished top of the pool and they went very close to reaching a first Champions Cup final since 2012.
“We are delighted to have secured his services for another two seasons.”
Dawson also confirmed the retention of Lancaster, Dempsey and Fogarty as key components in Cullen’s coaching team with all three retaining the same titles as before.
“Stuart has had a huge impact on this club since his arrival in early September and he brings with him a wealth of experience both on and off the field that has helped Leo and the other coaches and players massively. His dedication to the Leinster cause is there for all to see and he has been welcomed with open arms by everyone at the club.
“Girvan and John are a big part of what has made this Leinster team tick this season and in particular the performances of the younger players. They are of course former Leinster players themselves who understand the club but they have also worked a lot with these young players over the years in their previous roles with the Leinster Academy.”
Finally, Mick Dawson also confirmed that head analyst Emmet Farrell would now also be taking on the role of kicking coach for next season.
“Emmet has already been working with our backs on their kicking this season and we look forward to him being able to build on the progress we have made in this area.
“I think I echo the views of our supporters when I wish Leo, Stuart, Girvan, John and Emmet all the very best in the coming years.”