Declan Kidney appointed London Irish director of rugby

Declan Kidney joined London Irish in March
Declan Kidney joined London Irish in March
©London Irish

Former Ireland head coach Declan Kidney has been named as the new director of rugby of London Irish.

Kidney joined the Exiles as technical consultant succeeding former Springbok Brendan Venter and was accompanied by Les Kiss, who took over as the head coach from Brendan Venter.

London Irish chief executive Brian Facer believes Kidney has had an positive impact with the club since his arrival.

“Declan has been brilliant since arriving as technical consultant,” said Facer.

“We’ve seen players and staff alike bring a positive approach to their work both on and off the pitch, and this was reflected in the improved performances we saw towards the end of the Aviva Premiership campaign.

“We’re delighted that Declan has agreed to take up his post as director of rugby and are looking forward to seeing him put the building blocks in place for sustainable success in the future.”

Kidney, who won the IRB International Coach of the Year in 2009 is confident of London Irish bouncing back after a tough 2017/18 season that saw them relegated from the top tier.

“We are excited about the future,” Kidney added.

“A number of players have moved on for one reason or another, but we are very enthusiastic about the commitment that has been shown by a talented young breed of players to London Irish.

“We have an academy with a proven track record of bringing through talented young individuals, some good new signings, and senior players who have shown the willingness to help us develop a sustainable squad. If we all work hard the future can be bright for us and we can achieve all our goals.

“We are building a squad that is not just good enough to gain promotion from an extremely challenging and competitive Championship, but who can then use the lessons from this season should we get back to the Premiership in 2019."

Kidney helped Munster to Celtic League title and two European Champions Cup title and under him Ireland went on to clinch Grand Slam in the 2009 Six Nations tournament.