Leo Cullen named new Leinster head coach


Leo Cullen has been announced as the new Leinster head coach on a two-year deal.

Cullen had been working in the role of interim coach since the departure of head coach Matt O’Connor at the tail end of last season.

Irish international Jonathan Sexton, who is returning to Leinster after a spell at Racing Metro, welcomed the news: “It’s been rumoured for weeks now, they were just trying to sort out the details. It’s great news for the province to have somebody who knows the place so well in charge and knows the standards that are needed to compete at the highest level.”

Details of the back room team were announced as well.

Kurt McQuilkin continues as defence coach, John Fogarty continues as provincial scrum coach, Girvan Dempsey will serve as backs coach on a short-term contract until the end of the Rugby World Cup.

Richie Murphy, who is currently serving as skills coach with Ireland until the end of the World Cup, will return to Leinster as skills and kicking coach in November.

“That’s where we want to get back to and I think he’s the right man. The other guys who he’s brought in with him bring a bit of freshness as well, with Kurt coming back after a break and John Fogarty as well, and then the backs is Girvan [Dempsey] for the time being and we’ll see how that goes. So it’s good.”

Cullen won over 200 caps for Leinster in two spells with the province, only leaving for two years to play with Leicester. He retired from playing in 2014 along with Brian O’Driscoll after winning the Pro12 final. Cullen won 32 caps for Ireland in a nine year international career.

Cullen’s first competitive game in charge will be away to Edinburgh in the Pro12 on Friday September 4.


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