Declan Kidney promoted to director of rugby two months after joining London Irish

By Stephen Barry

Former Ireland and Munster coach Declan Kidney has moved into the director of rugby role at London Irish.

Ireland's most successful homegrown coach was appointed as a technical consultant at the English club in March after five years out of the game.

He joined alongside his former assistant Les Kiss, who was appointed head coach, although London Irish's inevitable relegation from the Premiership was confirmed soon after.

But having impressed with his initial positive impact, Kidney has been promoted to director of rugby.

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

“We’ve seen players and staff alike bring a positive approach to their work both on and off the pitch.

“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 said he was delighted to be a part of London Irish's "fantastic journey" ahead, with a possible return to London being mooted.

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

“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.

“The potential move back into London is also an incredibly exciting prospect and I know that Mick Crossan, Brian Facer and the rest of the board are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to achieve this goal. So, I see no reason not to be a part of what could be a fantastic journey ahead for all involved.

“A special word of thanks to all London Irish supporters, who have given myself and Les a very warm welcome to the club over the last few weeks. You have certainly lived up to your reputation and we hope to repay the faith you have all shown in us by working as hard as we can over the coming months and years.”


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