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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019
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Declan Kidney won't be taking over as head coach of London Irish

The Premiership club have confirmed the appointment of Tom Coventry ahead of next season.

Kidney was linked with London Irish in recent months.
Kidney was linked with London Irish in recent months.

LONDON IRISH HAVE confirmed Tom Coventry will be their head coach next season, ending rumours that Declan Kidney was set to assume the position.

The Premiership club was taken over by a a consortium of Irish businessmen in 2013, with Cavan man Mick Crossan – owner of recycling and waste management company Powerday - appointed president.

London Irish’s links with Ireland have subsequently been strengthened again, with Connacht’s Eoin Griffin, Ulster’s Tom Court and Conor Gilsenan of Leinster having joined Tomás O’Leary, Eamonn Sheridan and Jamie Hagan on the playing staff last summer.

With former director of rugby Brian Smith having parted ways with the club this week, it was believed former Munster, Leinster and Ireland head coach Kidney was in the running to take over from next season onwards.

However, London Irish today confirmed that the highly-regarded Coventry will arrive from the Chiefs in New Zealand following the 2015 Super Rugby season.

Coventry has been an assistant coach at the Chiefs for their two Super Rugby titles in the last three years, predominantly focusing his attention on the forwards.

Corkman Kidney – who won two Heineken Cups, a Grand Slam and an IRB Coach of the Year award – has been out of the professional game since his reign in charge of the national team ended in 2013.

Kidney has been working as the director of sport in University College Cork since.

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Murray Kinsella

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