London Irish appoint Declan Kidney as director of rugby
Last Updated: 22/05/18 3:53pm
Declan Kidney has been appointed as London Irish's director of rugby following a spell as the club's technical consultant.
Kidney and head coach Les Kiss joined the Exiles in March but were unable to steer the them clear of relegation as they finished bottom of the Aviva Premiership with 19 defeats from 22 games.
However, Irish chief executive Brian Facer has been delighted with the duo's impact and tasked them with securing promotion from the Championship at the first attempt.
"We've seen players and staff alike bring a positive approach to their work both on and off the pitch, and this was reflected in the improved performances we saw towards the end of the Aviva Premiership campaign," said Facer.
"We're delighted that Declan has agreed to take up his post as director of rugby and are looking forward to seeing him put the building blocks in place for sustainable success in the future."
Kidney, who won a Six Nations Grand Slam while in charge of Ireland in 2009, is relishing the challenge of trying to lead Irish back into the Premiership.
"A number of players have moved on for one reason or another but we are very enthusiastic about the commitment that has been shown by a talented young breed of players to London Irish," he said.
"We have an academy with a proven track record of bringing through talented young individuals, some good new signings, and senior players who have shown the willingness to help us develop a sustainable squad.
"If we all work hard the future can be bright for us and we can achieve all our goals.
"We are building a squad that is not just good enough to gain promotion from an extremely challenging and competitive Championship, but who can then use the lessons from this season should we get back to the Premiership in 2019.
"The potential move back into London is also an incredibly exciting prospect and I know that Mick Crossan, Brian Facer and the rest of the board are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to achieve this goal.
"So, I see no reason not to be a part of what could be a fantastic journey ahead for all involved."