Premiership strugglers London Irish have pulled off a major coup by reuniting Declan Kidney and Les Kiss as part of a coaching overhaul.
Kidney joins as technical consultant, while Kiss is appointed as head coach in a move that sees technical director Brendan Venter leave the club with immediate effect.
Former Munster coach Kidney has an impressive CV, having twice led the province to European Champions Cup glory, before taking over as Ireland head coach in 2008.
He led his country to a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2009, ending a 61-year wait, and did so with Kiss as part of his coaching team.
Australian Kiss remained in Ireland’s set-up following Kidney’s departure in 2013 and was part of the coaching staff that helped Joe Schmidt’s men to back-to-back Six Nations titles in 2014 and 2015.
| BREAKING: London Irish can today confirm the appointments of Declan Kidney and Les Kiss as the Exiles’ new technical consultant and head coach respectively.
— London Irish (@LiRFC) March 9, 2018
The duo have signed three-year contracts with Irish, which will remain the case regardless of what league they are in next season.
Irish look certain to be relegated from the Premiership having won just two of 17 matches this season, and are 12 points adrift of nearest rivals Worcester Warriors.
“I’m under no illusions that this is going to be a challenging job,” Kidney told the club’s official website.
“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 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 added: “Declan is a great person to work with, and I’m looking forward to joining him at London Irish. It is a big job for us, but one we are relishing.”
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