London Irish: Coaches Declan Kidney and Les Kiss join Premiership's bottom club


Declan Kidney was Ireland head coach between 2008 and 2013

Former Ireland head coach Declan Kidney and ex-Ulster director of rugby Les Kiss have joined London Irish.

Kidney, who led Ireland to a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2009, has joined from University College Cork and will be the club’s technical consultant.

Kiss, who was Ireland’s defence coach under Kidney, left Ulster in January and becomes head coach.

The pair have both signed three-year deals and will work with Irish’s director of rugby Nick Kennedy.

London Irish are 12 points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership with five games remaining, having won just two of their 17 matches this season.

“I’m under no illusions that this is going to be a challenging job. 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,” Kidney said.

“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.”

Former Exiles player Brendan Venter, who was hired as technical director in 2016, will leave the club.

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