Declan Kidney & Les Kiss Land Aviva Premiership Roles

The band are getting back together.

London Irish have today confirmed the appointments of Declan Kidney and Les Kiss as the Exiles’ new technical consultant and head coach respectively.

Kidney is one of Irish rugby’s most successful and celebrated coaches and has legendary status in his native Munster, having guided the southern province to two European Rugby Champions Cup titles in 2006 and 2008.

He also won a Grand Slam in 2009 after taking over as Ireland boss, which was their first in 61 years and helped earn Kidney the accolade of World Rugby Coach of the Year. Since 2013 he has held the position of director of sport and physical activity at University College Cork in Ireland, one of Europe’s leading academic institutions.

Kidney is relishing the opportunity of coaching London Irish, a club he says has massive potential.

“London Irish is a club with a proud and rich tradition, both in London and in Ireland, and I had no hesitation in agreeing to join the team at Hazelwood,” said Kidney.

“It is a club which has a history of producing quality young players, and there appears to be a group of coaches with plenty of promise, and an off-field management team which is putting everything in place for a bright future.

“I’m under no illusions that this is going to be a challenging job. English club rugby is very competitive, and it is going to take several years for us to cement a place at the top end of the Aviva Premiership, but I believe that with the right structures this becomes a realistic ambition for us.

“I’m particularly excited to be working with Les Kiss again. We had a great relationship with the Ireland national team and I know that he is the right person to join me on this journey.

“We can’t wait to get started.”

Kiss joined Kidney in expressing his excitement about rekindling the coaching partnership.

“Declan is a great person to work with, and I’m looking forward to joining him at London Irish,” he said.

“It is a big job for us, but one we are relishing. There are some good coaches already at Hazelwood, the likes of Nick Kennedy, Declan Danaher, Paul Hodgson and George Skivington, who have all shown their commitment to the club for several years, and we believe that we will be able to help them reach their potential.”

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