Matt O’Connor takes charge at Leinster

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Leinster have appointed Australian Matt O’Connor as their new head coach.

O’Connor, who currently holds the same role with Aviva Premiership club Leicester, has agreed a three-year deal and will link up with Leinster on 1 July.

He will succeed Joe Schmidt, who was recently appointed as the new Ireland coach in succession to Declan Kidney.

O’Connor, 42, is a former Australian international who coached Australia A before joining the Leicester staff in 2009.

During his time at Welford Road, Leicester have won two Premiership titles and reached the 2010 Heineken Cup final. Tigers are also through to this season’s title play-offs and will play Harlequins next Saturday.

O’Connor said: “I am delighted to join Leinster. The playing staff, coaching team and facilities are first-class, and I have been hugely encouraged by the hunger within the province to push on despite enjoying an unprecedented period of success on the field in recent years.

“I look forward to working with the province’s established and burgeoning talent from the Leinster academy, and I am also pleased to work with the current coaching team who have played such a key part in the province’s success over the last four years.

Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson said: “We are delighted that Matt has agreed to become head coach, and we believe that he will be carry on the fine work which has been done over the course of the last eight years. He joins Leinster with an impressive pedigree and we were impressed by his vision.”

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