Leicester Tigers appoint Matt O'Connor as new head coach

Leicester Tigers appoint Matt O'Connor as new head coach

Leicester Tigers have sacked Aaron Mauger as head coach and immediately replaced him with Australian coach Matt O'Connor.

Former All Black Aaron Mauger will coach English Premiership club Leicester for one more game before an unceremonious exit.

Leicester beat Exeter Chiefs 16-12 in the Anglo-Welsh Cup final last weekend to claim their first silverware in four years, but they've struggled domestically this season and failed to progress from the pool stages of the European Champions Cup.

"We are delighted that Matt O'Connor has accepted an offer to return to Welford Road", Leicester club chairman, Peter Tom, said in a statement. He is set to begin work early next month, subject to a visa, with Aaron Mauger leaving the club.

Now assistant coach to the Tonga national side, O'Connor returns to the club where he won three Aviva Premiership titles, before departing in 2013 to take over at Leinster.

Leicester's former director of rugby, Richard Cockerill, was sacked in January and Mauger admitted then he had "fundamental differences" with the club following Cockerill's departure, report the Guardian.

'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'.

"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".

"We wish him well for the future".

Since leaving Welford Road in 2013, O'Connor has worked with Leinster, who he led them to the Celtic League title in his first season, Queensland Reds and Tonga. We look forward to working with him again when he arrives next month.

It means Mauger remains in charge of the fifth-placed club until this Saturday's match against Northampton.