Leicester Tigers have appointed Rob Taylor to the coaching staff ahead of the 2020/21 season as an Assistant Coach, responsible for the side’s attack.
The addition of Taylor sees Mike Ford take charge of the Tigers defence.
Taylor joins from Sydney University in Australia, where he has won four Premiership titles in his four seasons at the Shute Shield club in both their colts and senior programmes.
The Tigers recruit is the only coach to have won colts and 1st Grade Premierships in both Auckland and Sydney competitions and has led sides to six consecutive Grand Finals in six seasons.
The New Zealand-born Taylor – who is of English heritage – was also the head coach for the NSW Country Eagles in Australia’s National Rugby Championship and, earlier this year, won the Australian National Club Championship with Sydney University.
“I am looking for the opportunities for people to best use their talents and use them to create wins and get the Tigers supporters proud of their team"Rob Taylor
Taylor grew up in Wellington and played club rugby in New Zealand’s North Island before moving to England and working with Ernst & Young.
While living in the UK, Taylor helped establish the John Macphail Scholarship with the Scottish Rugby Union which has provided opportunities for young rugby players and coaches from Scotland to play and coach abroad since 2005.
Recipients of the Scholarship have included Scottish captain John Barclay, Finn Russell and Chris Paterson.
On his return to New Zealand, Taylor ran Rhino Rugby and returned as director of rugby with Auckland University, the club of All Blacks caps Steven Luatua, Jeroime Kaino and John Afoa as well as World Cup-winning coach Sir Graham Henry, with whom he established a key coaching relationship.
He also took charge of age-grade sides in Auckland and the provincial ‘B’ Team for the Mitre 10 Cup campaign.
After winning the Gallaher Shield in 2014 and making the Final in 2015 with Auckland, Taylor was recruited by Sydney University and recorded two unbeaten seasons with the Australian club’s colts team before winning back-to-back Shute Shield Premierships and Minor Premierships, working alongside Wallabies internationals Nick Phipps, Tolu Latu, Dave Dennis and Dean Mumm among others.
As part of his continued professional development, Taylor has also recently spent time at the Wayne Smith-coached Kobelco Steelers.
“He has impressed us all in our discussions with him and we are confident his approach to the game will complement what we have in our coaching ranks"Geordan Murphy
Speaking about his appointment to the Tigers coaching staff, Taylor admitted to being “honoured” at being considered for the opportunity.
“It was a big honour to get a call from Leicester Tigers,” said Taylor.
“Every rugby person knows who Leicester Tigers are and what they have achieved in their history.”
The new attack coach admitted that he was excited to link up with the Leicester squad and new signings as well as those on their way up the ranks at the club.
“It’s a very exciting prospect with the roster Tigers have,” he said.
“It’s a privilege to get this chance to work with the likes of players at Leicester already and the high quality players coming in like Matt Scott and Nemani Nadolo. I am really looking forward to it.
“However, I am also really passionate about the younger guys at the club and how they come through to the first team.
“It’s nice to be working with big names but will certainly be looking at everybody and the pathway for them and how I can contribute to them playing their best ever footy.”
Taylor added that, while there is a lot to look forward to, it is going to be built on hard work and commitment to the plans in place from Geordan Murphy, Steve Borthwick and the coaching staff.
“It comes back to working as hard as you can and doing everything possible to help those guys,” added Taylor.
“I love to win and the challenge of finding a way to win as part of a collective.
“I like to think my teams take great pride, enjoyment and a positive approach to the way they play the game.
“I am looking for the opportunities for people to best use their talents and use them to create wins and get the Tigers supporters proud of their team.”
“It comes back to working as hard as you can and doing everything possible to help those guys"Rob Taylor
Murphy, who becomes director of rugby on July 1, said Taylor was the coach the club believed was the right man for the job.
“Rob’s record in Australia and New Zealand at all levels is hugely impressive, he has been successful in all of his roles,” said Murphy.
“He has impressed us all in our discussions with him and we are confident his approach to the game will complement what we have in our coaching ranks at the club for next season.”
With the addition of Taylor and Aled Walters alongside incoming head coach Borthwick, Murphy feels the balance is right at Tigers.
“It’s a new-look group for us next season and, with Mike Ford moving into defence where he has worked at the highest levels in the game, and the trio of additions in Steve, Rob and Aled all adding their own unique skills and experience, we feel we are a much better and balanced group to take the club forward.
“This is an exciting time and one that will require hard work from the coaches, players and staff in Leicester together, moving in the same direction.”
Taylor’s addition follows the appointment of Aled Walters, from the World Cup-winning Springboks, as Head of Physical Performance and he joins Steve Borthwick, Brett Deacon, Mike Ford and Boris Stankovich in the senior coaching group.