Matt O’Connor Sacked By Tigers After One Match

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LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 07: Matt O'Connor, the Leicester Tigers director of rugby looks on during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Leicester Tigers at Twickenham Stadium on April 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Leicester Tigers have dramatically dispensed with Head Coach Matt O’Connor after just one match of the 2018/19 Gallagher Premiership season. It follows a crushing 40-6 defeat at Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, where the Tigers conceded six tries.

Matt O’Connor Sacked in ‘best interests of Leicester’

Released on early Monday evening, the Leicester press release does not reference the Exeter result in any way. This suggests O’Connor was on the ropes even before the first league match. Indeed, a fifth placed finish was Leicester’s worst in 14 years.

O’Connor was into his second spell with the Tigers, having left in 2013 to join Leinster. However last season’s failure to reach the Premiership play-offs was a huge dent to his reputation.

The logic of removing a Head Coach after one match is highly questionable, as his replacement has no pre-season to work with a squad, or recruit the players he would like.

Geordan Murphy to Take Control

In O’Connor’s place will be fan’s favourite and former Leicester captain Geordan Murphy. He will be assisted by fellow former players Boris Stankovich and Brett Deacon, as well as  Mark Bakewell.

Murphy has some experience of leading coaching from the Premiership Sevens series and also through the Anglo-Welsh Cup. Whether he will be able to rise to the Head Coach role in the pressurised environments of the Premiership and Champion’s Cup will be another matter.

He will hope his playing reputation will buy him some time with the impatient Tigers fans, if he is unable to stir better performances from the undoubtedly talented squad.

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