O'Connor to return as Leicester coach

O'Connor to return as Leicester coach

Matt O'Connor will replace Aaron Mauger at Leicester Tigers, returning to the club where he won the league as coach in 2013.

Leicester Tigers have secured the return of Premiership-winning coach Matt O'Connor to Welford Road.

O'Connor, capped once by Australia, guided Leicester to the title in 2013 as head coach under director of rugby Richard Cockerill, having previously worked as both a backline and attack coach for the Tigers.

He won the Pro12 in 2014 after moving to Leinster but was sacked at the end of his second season in charge there, becoming a member of the Queensland Reds and Tonga coaching staff, including a period serving as interim head coach of the Super Rugby team.

The 46-year-old will now be returning to the Premiership, as the incumbent Leicester coach Aaron Mauger prepares to leave after this Saturday's match against Northampton Saints, Cockerill having been sacked in January.

"We are delighted that Matt O'Connor has accepted an offer to return to Welford Road," Tigers chairman Peter Tom said in a statement.

"The club has conducted an exhaustive search to find who we feel is the right person to take the team forward and this brought up the names of a number of potentially very good coaches. One of the most significant factors in our deliberations was experience of the Premiership and what it takes to win the competition.

"Matt has that experience as head coach during a successful period which brought three league titles, an Anglo-Welsh Cup and the club's most recent appearance in the European Cup Final. The team also topped the try-scoring figures in the Premiership four times in that five-year period with Matt in charge of the attack."

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