FORMER Ireland head coach Declan Kidney has been appointed the new director of rugby at relegated London Irish.
Kidney, who guided Ireland to a Grand Slam title in 2009, previously managed the Exiles from 2008 to 2013 and has been a technical consultant with the club since March.
Although the 58-year-old was unable to save Irish from the drop, he made a considerable impression in his work over the last few months at Madejski Stadium.
The former Ireland and Munster boss replaces Nick Kennedy, who departed in March with Irish bottom of the Premiership.
He will work with head coach Les Kiss, who also joined in March.
💬And a message for the London Irish supporters! 💬
— London Irish (@LiRFC) May 22, 2018
“Declan has been brilliant since arriving as technical consultant,” said London Irish chief executive Brian Facer.
“We’ve seen players and staff alike bring a positive approach to their work both on and off the pitch, and this was reflected in the improved performances we saw towards the end of the Aviva Premiership campaign.
“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 added: "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."