Geordan Murphy: Leicester Tigers appoint interim boss as new head coach

Geordan Murphy

Premiership club Leicester Tigers have appointed interim boss Geordan Murphy as their head coach.

The 40-year-old, who won eight league titles with Tigers as a player, had been in caretaker charge since Matt O’Connor’s sacking on 3 September.

The ex-Ireland and British and Irish Lions full-back said: “It is a huge honour to be asked to be head coach.”

Tigers have won only three Premiership games this season and are eighth in the table, but three points off the bottom.

Murphy, whose contract length has not been disclosed, told the Leicester website: “This club means a lot to me, I’ve been here a long time and we all want to enjoy success with the Tigers.

“We’ve had a challenging start to the season and we are working hard to improve performances and results, but this is also the start of a journey for this coaching team and playing group.

“There is a lot of quality there and we still have everything to play for this season.

“We are looking at how and what we can add to the coaching team in terms of experience and quality, and it has to be the right fit for the team.”

Geordan Murphy

Leicester lost 34-11 at home to Racing Metro last weekend, effectively ending their hopes of progress in the European Champions Cup.

Murphy said afterwards that the club was “probably at the lowest ebb” he could remember in his time at Welford Road.

They will again be at home on Saturday when they return to Premiership action against Harlequins, who are three places above them and six points better off.

Chairman Peter Tom added: “Geordan knows this club as well as anyone, as a player over 16 years here and now in five years as a coach.

“Although recent results have not been at the level we all expect, Geordan’s leadership, enthusiasm and hard work during a challenging period have impressed us all.

“Geordan has his own vision of how to get the best out of the coaches and players around him, and now is the time for everyone to work together to help his plans come to fruition.”

After Murphy was appointed as interim boss in September, Tigers said he would be given “every opportunity” to remain on a more permanent basis.

‘Tigers board desperate for stability’

Analysis – BBC Sport rugby union reporter Chris Jones:

Even though Leicester are going through their worst run of form in more than 40 years, this news has been expected for a while, with the Tigers board desperate for stability under Murphy.

While recent results have clearly been poor, Murphy has inherited a squad struggling for direction, identity and confidence, and he has the backing of the players and the fans as he attempts to turn the club around.

However, it’s clear Murphy needs some more experience on his coaching team, while off the field the club has been dogged by a questionable recruitment strategy for years.

Tigers fans may have to come to terms with a period of pain before things start to improve at Welford Road.

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BBC Sport – Rugby Union

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