Leinster players in 'shave or dye' campaign to raise funds for outgoing coach

Leinster players in 'shave or dye' campaign to raise funds for outgoing coach

PLAYERS from Leinster have been showing their support for departing defence coach Kurt McQuilkin by shaving or dying their hair ahead of the new rugby season.

McQuilkin, a New Zealander who played for Ireland in the 1990s, is having to return to his native land for undisclosed personal reasons, but is in need of a helping hand along his way.

Players such as Ireland internationals Cian Healy and Devin Toner will take to the pitch with an unfamiliar look this Friday in Leinster’s seasonal opener against Treviso having undergone their transformations on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Munster legend Paul O’Connell has shown his respect by auctioning a signed painting to add to the cause.

Former Leinster player McQuilkin was considered the brains behind Leinster’s commendable defensive record last season, having conceded fewer tries than any other team in the Pro12.

Leinster Head Coach Leo Cullen said: "This is very sad news for Kurt and his family and our priority is supporting Kurt in his decision as best we can.

"He will head back home with our very best wishes in very trying circumstances and with the thanks of everyone at Leinster Rugby for his stellar contribution over the last 12 months.

"Right now our focus is on Kurt and ensuring that his move back home is as seamless as possible."

All proceeds from their ‘shave or dye’ fundraising campaign will be distributed to the McQuilkin family to help them through a difficult period.

Click here to donate to the cause.