Ex-Bath boss Mike Ford won’t be the only advisor in Geordan Murphy’s ear next season. The Leicester coach will also be tapping into the knowledge of former Tigers great Pat Howard in an effort to revive the ailing fortunes of the Welford Road club.
Rookie head coach Murphy was handed the reins in dramatic fashion last season, taking charge on an interim basis following the sacking of Matt O’Connor following a horrible first-day defeat at Exeter.
Despite going on to be given the job on a full-time basis over the winter, Murphy struggled to consistently improve results and they were in the throes of a Gallagher Premiership relegation battle when Ford was brought on board to help out at the end of March.
Leicester eventually secured their Premiership status, their 11th place finish just enough to steer clear of relegated Newcastle.
However, while Ford is staying on to continue to assist Murphy at a club that was put up for sale on Tuesday with a retail value of £60million, Mirror Sport have revealed that former boss Howard will also be helping out.
— Mirror Sport (@MirrorSport) June 26, 2019
“Pat is going to be coming in to help Geordan and help make sure the changes he proposed go through and improve things on the pitch,” said Tigers chairman Peter Tom.
“He’s going to come in a week a month to mentor Geordie. Mike Ford is staying as well. He did a great job for us towards the end of last season.”
We have today announced plans for the sale of the club alongside a full strategic review as part of long-term plans to reclaim our status as a dominant force in English and European Rugby.https://t.co/b8IqwWuLDc
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) June 25, 2019
Howard was initially involved in what was described as a hard-hitting review towards the end of last season, a campaign that went into the history books as the famed club’s worst in the professional era.
It was 2007 when Howard guided Leicester to Premiership glory, the same season they finished beaten finalists in the Heineken European Cup. After finishing with rugby, he went on to forge a career with Cricket Australia that came to an end last year following the ball-tampering controversy.
Cricket’s loss can now be rugby’s gain as Leicester have high hopes that Howard’s mentoring role will provide the necessary guidance to help fast-track Murphy to coaching maturity as he begins his first full season in charge.
“We’re putting in place a whole series of things to significantly improve our position on the pitch. We’re pretty confident about how things will go next season,” added Tom before addressing the proposed sale of the club.
Tom Youngs' insight into the emotions of Leicester Tigers' relegation battle will set you up for your Premiership Rugby weekend
— liam heagney (@heagneyl) April 5, 2019
“We will make sure we find a buyer that will do all the things we consider important as custodians of Tigers and the club’s history.
“Our decision won’t necessarily be to do with price. It will be as much about the commitment of the would-be purchaser to the club’s long-term future.”
Leicester are further reinforcing their team off the field with the appointment of Jan McGinity in the new position of head of elite performance recruitment and a new role for Ged Glynn as head of performance pathway and talent identification.
McGinity has been head of sports operations at the Scottish Rugby Union since 2017 following a four-year spell as head of recruitment in Premiership Rugby with Worcester Warriors. He 10 years’ experience overseeing the largest rugby athlete management company in the UK.
Hey! That is a familiar face.
Welcome back, Pat. pic.twitter.com/CwmdvQ73ki
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) June 26, 2019
He will be responsible for player contracts, salary cap management and managing relationships with key stakeholders within the game, with a focus on the player recruitment industry.
Glynn’s new role will provide extra dedicated focus on the key area of scouting at all levels as well as continued direct responsibility for the club’s successful academy system.
WATCH: Episode one of The Academy, the six-part RugbyPass documentary series looking at how Leicester Tigers develop their players
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