Leicester Tigers can confirm the coaching team for the 2020/21 season across the club’s senior, development, academy and pathway programmes.
From July 1, Geordan Murphy moves into the Director of Rugby role with Steve Borthwick commencing as Head Coach.
Murphy, the club’s most decorated player, held assistant roles with Tigers following his retirement before being appointed as interim head coach in September 2018 and then accepted the role on a permanent basis later that season.
Borthwick’s appointment was confirmed in January, with the former England captain joining Tigers after previous coaching roles with Japan, Bristol Rugby, the British and Irish Lions and five years as part of the England Rugby staff.
“The mix of experience, innovation and, most impressively, the hunger to work hard and succeed that this new look coaching team has is something we should all be, and are, excited about to take the Tigers forward on the next step of this journey"Tigers CEO Simon Cohen
As confirmed earlier this week, Rob Taylor joins Tigers as attack coach from Sydney University, where he has won four Premierships in four seasons with the Australian club’s colts and senior programmes, and has previously held the head coach role for the NSW Country Eagles in the National Rugby Championship and director of rugby role at Auckland University.
Taylor’s appointment to the attack role sees Mike Ford move to defence coach, where he has worked at international level with Ireland, the British and Irish Lions and England, as well as Saracens, and has held senior positions at Bath Rugby and Toulon.
Brett Deacon, who moved into coaching at Tigers following his retirement from playing in 2013 after 135 appearances for the club, will be responsible for the breakdown and assist Borthwick with the forwards and Ford with defence.
Boris Stankovich, who made 119 appearances for Leicester and recently worked on the Canada coaching staff at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, continues in his role of Tigers Scrum Coach and will continue to oversee the development, academy and pathway scrum programmes at the club.
Tigers CEO Simon Cohen said the new-look senior coaching team was the result of a rigorous process undertaken by the club.
“We have not hidden from the fact that, in recent seasons, the club has not delivered on the pitch up to the standard which we deem successful at Leicester Tigers,” said Cohen.
“With that in mind, over an extensive period we have undertaken a rigorous process to put together a world class coaching team, led by Geordan as Director of Rugby and Steve Borthwick as our new Head Coach.
“Geordan will move into a role we have every bit of confidence he will flourish in and could not have a better-suited individual by his side than Steve Borthwick, who is as big a signing as the club has made in my time at Tigers.
“The mix of experience, innovation and, most impressively, the hunger to work hard and succeed that this new-look coaching team has is something we should all be, and are, excited about to take the Tigers forward on the next step of this journey.”
Meanwhile, Aled Walters joins the club as Head of Physical Performance after a decorated career including roles in New Zealand and Australia in Super Rugby, with Scarlets in Wales and Munster in Ireland, as well as most recently with South Africa Rugby, where he was Head of Athletic Performance for the Springboks who won the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Ed Hollis enter his sixth season in the role of Head of Medical Services. He arrived arriving in Leicester ahead of the 2015/16 season after previously posts with Football Australia – including two World Cups and an Olympics campaign – the Canberra Raiders, the Brumbies in Super Rugby and Tottenham Hotspur FC. He also joined Rugby Australia as a member of the Wallabies staff at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Simon Barbour, who began his first stint with Tigers as an intern before rising through the ranks to a senior role, is the club’s Senior Performance Analyst and worked on the England Rugby staff in between his spells at Leicester.
“We are building nicely, yes, but there are no quick fixes and, club-wide, we need to now commit to the hard work required to deliver for our fans, partners and ourselves"Tigers CEO Simon Cohen
Jan McGinity joined the club in the new position of Head of Elite Performance Recruitment during the summer of 2019 after more than a decade overseeing the largest rugby athlete management company in the UK and senior roles with Scottish Rugby and the Worcester Warriors, and is responsible for player contracts and salary cap management.
Ged Glynn, who has previously held the roles of Chief Scout and Head of Rugby Operations, continues as Head of Performance Pathway and Talent Identification with a focus on the key area of scouting worldwide while also maintaining a clear performance pathway from the Developing Player Programme through to senior squad and overseeing the academy programme.
Tigers Head of Elite Performance Recruitment Jan McGinity will be the guest on Friday night’s episode of 𝗟𝗧𝗧𝗩 𝗪𝗘𝗘𝗞𝗟𝗬 📺— Leicester Tigers 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘦 🏠 (@LeicesterTigers) May 6, 2020
See what McGinity and Geordan Murphy have to say about the club’s recruitment ahead of next season and the challenges for them in lock-down. pic.twitter.com/UZd7qKqJ8z
CEO Cohen added that, while the headline items have been the shake-up of the coaching room, the addition of Walters to the impressive team of those supporting them was a “game changer” for the club.
“Aled’s addition alongside Steve and Rob is an absolute game changer for Leicester Tigers,” he said.
“He is a winner, most recently with South Africa on the biggest stage in world rugby, and will bring a fresh approach to what is becoming a more and more crucial part of the professional game.”
After helping to guide the club to a third successive Premiership Under-18 League title, Dave Wilks heads up the academy programme as Academy Manager with Matt Smith entering his second season as Academy Head Coach.
Smith will again be assisted by Tom Harrison and former Tigers scrum-half David Mélé.
Greg Mannion, who was appointed Junior Academy Manager in the summer of 2019, continues in his role as the lead on the Development Pathway Programme.
Cohen reiterated the club’s focus on wanting to develop talented players and good people on the junior pathway, to provide Murphy, Borthwick and the senior team the best available players to make the step up from the academy.
“The academy has achieved well-earned success in recent seasons and, led by Ged, Dave and now Matt Smith, we will continue to demand the very best from them in seeing talented and good young men available for Geordan and Steve to select from at Leicester Tigers,” added Cohen.
“We are building nicely, yes, but there are no quick fixes and, club-wide, we need to now commit to the hard work required to deliver for our fans, partners and ourselves.”
LEICESTER TIGERS COACHING TEAM – SEASON 2020/21
Director of Rugby: Geordan Murphy
Head Coach: Steve Borthwick
Assistant Coaches: Brett Deacon, Mike Ford, Boris Stankovich, Rob Taylor
Head of Physical Performance: Aled Walters
Head of Medical: Ed Hollis
Senior Performance Analyst: Simon Barbour
Head of Elite Performance Recruitment: Jan McGinity
Head of Performance Pathway and Talent Identification: Ged Glynn
Academy Manager: Dave Wilks
Academy Head Coach: Matt Smith
Academy Assistant Coaches: Tom Harrison, David Mélé
Junior Academy Manager: Greg Mannion