Leicester Tigers: Geordan Murphy 'will be fantastic head coach', says lock Will Spencer

Geordan Murphy in his first match in interim charge of Leicester Tigers
Geordan Murphy is combining his role as Leicester Tigers attack coach with the job of interim head coach

Lock Will Spencer says Geordan Murphy will make a "fantastic" Leicester Tigers head coach after the Irishman guided them to victory in his first match in interim charge.

Murphy oversaw a 49-33 triumph over Newcastle just five days after Matt O'Connor was sacked following their season-opening defeat at Exeter.

Even before the win, Murphy was told he would be given a chance in the job.

"We really put in a performance for him," Spencer told BBC Radio Leicester.

"Obviously with what happened with Matty we wanted to rally around as a group and rally around Geordy, who I believe will be a fantastic head coach for us."

As a long-serving player at Welford Road, Murphy won eight Premiership titles and was a popular choice among the squad when promoted as O'Connor's temporary replacement last week.

Tigers captain Tom Youngs previously told BBC 5 live that there was "no better bloke to steady the ship" than Murphy.

The 40-year-old made an immediate impression in front of a home crowd in his debut game in charge, with Leicester running in five first-half tries to lead last season's Premiership semi-finalists 40-19 at the break.

Spencer, a summer arrival from Worcester, said the victory was a "fresh start" for Tigers, who missed out on the play-offs for the first time in 14 years last season.

"It was a long week for us and obviously a terrible start," Spencer added.

"Individually and collectively we let ourselves down in Exeter. We wanted to come out and show the fans and the rest of the Premiership what we can do.

"We need to back it up now. We know last week wasn't good enough and this is a good starting point."

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