Geordan Murphy: Leicester Tigers have 'no intention' of making further coaching changes

By Chris JonesBBC Radio 5 live rugby union reporter
Leicester Tigers interim head coach Geordan Murphy
Tigers assistant Geordan Murphy held talks with Cardiff Blues about their head coach job in December

Geordan Murphy will be given "every opportunity" to remain as Leicester head coach on a permanent basis.

Murphy has been appointed interim boss at Welford Road following the sacking of Matt O'Connor.

And the club's hierarchy want the former Tigers captain to take on the role full-time.

"There is no intention, unless the wheels completely fall off, to make any further changes," said Leicester chief executive Simon Cohen.

"Every opportunity will be given to Geordan to make the most of the role."

O'Connor, 47, departed 48 hours after the Tigers lost 40-6 at Exeter in their opening Premiership game of the season.

"We had a review over the summer ahead of the new season and recommendations were made following that," Cohen added.

"The opportunity was given to the coach and staff to implement these, but it was felt that unfortunately recommendations weren't implemented."

'There is no better bloke'

Despite the lack of experience on the staff, there are currently no plans to add to the existing coaching set-up.

Former Leicester second row Brett Deacon will oversee defence, with Mark Bakewell the forwards and Boris Stankovich the scrum, while Murphy will combine the attack with his head coach duties.

It is believed O'Connor's removal will give more freedom to these coaches, who often felt restricted in their roles under the Australian.

The promotion of Murphy, who won eight Premiership titles as a Tigers full-back, has been warmly received by the playing group.

"There is no better bloke to steady the ship. I hope he gets a very, very good crack at it," captain Tom Youngs told BBC 5 live.

"We will get right behind him. He will get help, and I've made it clear to people above that whatever he needs you have to give it to him."

'Dream' job for Murphy

Geordan Murphy
Murphy made his Tigers debut in 1997 and appeared in four Heineken Cup finals, seven Premiership finals and won 72 caps for Ireland

Murphy spent 16 seasons as a player at Welford Road, scoring 691 points and 93 tries, but despite working in a variety of assistant roles under the likes of Richard Cockerill and Aaron Mauger, he has yet to be a head coach.

"I would be crazy to say no, it's obviously a dream; but it's very early days," Murphy, 40, told BBC 5 live.

"It was a bit of a shock but I didn't have too much time to dwell on it. The board asked me to do the role for the next few weeks and I have taken it."

While the timing of O'Connor's sacking appears embarrassing - just one week into the new season - Murphy says the pressure was on ahead of the new campaign after Tigers missed out on the play-offs for the first time in 14 seasons in May.

"As a coaching group and playing group we felt we had let our friend down, so the onus is on us to put things right," he added.

"We have to go out and perform and hopefully we will get a reaction.

"I haven't sat down with the board. It's just a suck it and see. It's about getting the best out of the guys in the next two or three games."

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