Leicester Tigers Head Coach O’Connor Resigns
Leicester Tigers coach Matt O'Connor resigned after just one game of the 2018/19 Gallagher Premiership season leaving assistant coach and legendary rugby speaker Geordan Murphy to take the reins
Turmoil at Tigers
Head coach Matt O’Connor has left Leicester Tigers with immediate effect after just one game of the new
Gallagher Premiership season. Having been in charge since April 2017, Australian O’Connor departed following the team’s 40-6 thrashing at the hands of Exeter Chiefs. In his second term as coach of the Tigers, O'Connor was in charge of Leicester for the final three games of the 2016-17 season. The club beat Newcastle Falcons and Worcester Warriors to seal fourth place, before agonisingly losing out in the play-off semi-finals by one point at Wasps.
A hugely disappointing 2017-18 season saw the Leicester Tigers lose 9 games and fall short of a top four play-off place, the minimum expectation for one of Europe’s most successful clubs. The word in the media is that O’Connor has lost the dressing room, with players not wanting to play for him. The former manager’s demeanour in his final game was one of resignation and some of his selections were questionable. However his abrupt resignation after just one game of the new season triggered some animosity within the camp.
A Trusted Successor
Leicester Tigers swiftly appointed former captain and club legend Geordan Murphy as interim head coach, promoting him from his role as assistant. A cult hero and born leader, Murphy epitomises the Tigers DNA and is fully aware of the standards and expectations of the proud club. Winning 8 Premierships and 2 Heineken Cup titles for the club as a player, rugby speaker, Geordan Murphy won 72 caps for Ireland and scored more than 650 points in more than 300 appearances for Leicester. He now faces a steep challenge in his new role at the helm of the club. The Tigers’ stalwart has the full backing of the club and Leicester have openly expressed the view that they are not planning on making any further coaching changes. Unless extreme circumstances dictate that the club plan to give the new head coach all of the confidence he needs to transform the fortunes of his beloved team.
The Perfect Start
With the complete backing of the management and club’s hierarchy, the prominent rugby guest speaker has already expressed his joy and surprise at being given his ‘dream job’. Murphy’s team immediately made an impact under his leadership, registering their first victory of the season at Welford Road. A dominant performance saw the Tigers score five tries in a scintillating performance. Tries from Manu Tuilagi and a polished performance from George Ford will be a hugely positive sign for the new Tigers’ coach. The performance of his star players will no doubt play a big part in the team’s fortunes this season. Few players in the history of Leicester Tigers have had a greater sense of tradition and pride for the team. Murphy possesses an abundance of knowledge and wisdom, certain to stand him in good stead. If the Tigers are looking for someone to lead them back to former glories, there a few better than legendary rugby speaker, Geordan Murphy.
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