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Murphy moves to director of rugby role as Leicester bring in Borthwick

The former Ireland fullback has been the club’s head coach since 2018.

LEICESTER TIGERS HAVE confirmed that Steve Borthwick will join the club as head coach after the Six Nations.

The appointment means former Ireland fullback Geordan Murphy will move into a role as the Premiership club’s director of rugby.

geordan-murphy Murphy will change roles after the Six Nations. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Borthwick has spent the past four years as an assistant coach to Eddie Jones with England, and three with Japan before that, while also travelling on the 2017 Lions tour as part of Warren Gatland’s staff.

Having played 57 times in the second row for England before hanging up his boots, Borthwick has built a reputation as an excellent coach and will soon be tasked with guiding Leicester back towards former glories along with Murphy.

Irishman Murphy spent his entire professional playing career with the club, making 316 appearances in total, before moving into an assistant coaching position in 2013.

Murphy was elevated into the role of head coach in 2018 when Matt O’Connor was sacked by the club, who have largely continued to struggle since. Leicester are currently 11th in the Premiership, although they are safe from relegation with Saracens already confirmed as the club who will drop into the Championship next season.

With Borthwick arriving to take the head coach position, Murphy will move into the director of rugby role after the Six Nations as Leicester – who have previously won 10 Premiership titles and two Champions Cups – aim to grow.

“The players and staff have all been working incredibly hard to get the club back on a pathway to where we all want to be, at the top of the professional game,” said Murphy.

“We have been building a lot of the foundations around recruitment and retention of the playing squad and the success of our academy structure, and we look forward to Steve’s arrival to drive the playing squad onwards.

steve-borthwick-with-joe-schmidt-before-the-game Borthwick with Joe Schmidt in 2018. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“Steve is a world-class coach with the skills and determination to get the best out of everyone around him.”

Meanwhile, Borthwick expressed his excitement to work alongside Murphy at “one of the greatest rugby clubs in the game” and Leicester’s chairman, Peter Tom, said:

“The appointment of Steve Borthwick as head coach and Geordan Murphy in the role of director of rugby provides an exciting combination of leadership, expertise and experience to drive the club forward in its desire to challenge for major honours again.

“The club has enjoyed many of its greatest successes with a blend of the Tigers DNA alongside fresh, innovative ideas from outside, both among the players and the coaching staff, and we look forward to Geordan and Steve leading that in their respective new roles.

“At the end of last season Pat Howard was commissioned to conduct a detailed review of operations at the club and one of the key findings was the need for stability in the coaching and playing structures to encourage development in line with the high standards and expectations of its Board, management, players and supporters.

“Geordan’s new role provides that stability as he knows the Tigers as well as anyone and has played a key part in the club’s successes, working with many world-class players and staff in his time here.

“He appreciates what makes the Leicester Tigers the club it is and will continue to drive those requirements and standards within the playing squad and backroom team.

“We are delighted to confirm that Steve will be joining us as head coach. He is regarded among the brightest and most astute young coaches in the game and he played a prominent part in the coaching team which led England to the Rugby World Cup Final last year.”

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Murray Kinsella

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