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Matt O’Connor set to become Leinster Rugby’s new head coach

Connor  amendedLeinster Rugby have moved quickly to fill the head coaching position set to be vacated by Ireland-bound Joe Schmidt after it emerged that Leicester head coach Matt O’Connor is set to join the Irish province.

The Irish Times has revealed that the 42-year-old Australian was in Dublin last week and held talks with the IRFU and Leinster’s senior players.

Schmidt is expected to be named as the new Ireland coach on Monday and Leinster and the IRFU are keen to sort out his replacement ahead of the summer break.

O’Connor, who made his name in Australia as backs coach with the Brumbies, is out of contract at Welford Road at the end of this season.

Capped once by Australia in the centre against Ireland in 1994, O’Connor took over the head coaching role with Leicester from Heyneke Mayer in June 2010 and has worked under director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

Under his leadership, Tigers have finished top of the English Premiership for the last two seasons and made it out of the pool stages in the Heineken Cup twice in the last three seasons.

Talks between O’Connor and Leinster Rugby hierarchy are  thought to have gone well and he is said to be happy to work with the three time Heineken Cup winners’ coaching ticket.

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