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Irish assistant Les Kiss linked with Super Rugby role as Ben Meehan quits Exiles

By Sam Smith
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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London Irish assistant coach Les Kiss has been linked to the Super Rugby vacancy at the Waratahs in the same week that fellow Australian Ben Meehan has quit the Exiles for personal reasons. The Tahs have been on the lookout for a new boss since Rob Penney was sacked at the end of March. 

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Kiss would have been the defence coach with Ireland under Declan Kidney and Joe Schmidt while Penney was boss at Munster between 2012 and 2014. He made the step up to becoming a boss in his own right at Ulster in 2015 and while that alliance wasn’t a success, it is said that Kiss would be interested in returning to the Waratahs where he was previously an assistant. 

After his sacking at Ulster, Kiss has rebuilt his reputation as an assistant to Kidney at London Irish and Fox Sports in Australia have reported that he has allegedly sounded out the situation at the Waratahs with Rugby Australia director Scott Johnson following the club’s disappointing Super Rugby AU campaign.

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It is also reported that ex-Leicester assistant Phil Blake and sevens coach John Manenti are also linked with the role but it’s said that the current favourite is Darren Coleman, the LA Giltinis boss who has also been linked with the impending vacancy at Melbourne Rebels where David Wessels won’t have his contract renewed at the end of this season.  

Coleman’s recent knowledge of the Shute Shield scene in Australia is said to give him an advantage over Kiss who has been working in Ireland and the UK since 2008 and isn’t as familiar with the current local rugby scene in Sydney. Coleman was interviewed in 2019 to replace Daryl Gibson at the Waratahs, but he was beaten to the job by Penney. Late May is when the club is aiming to fill their latest vacancy. 

Meanwhile, London Irish half-back Meehan has quit the club, a short statement on the Exiles’ website reading: “Ben Meehan has left London Irish owing to personal reasons. The scrum-half, who joined the club ahead of the 2017/18 season, made 76 appearances in all competitions.

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“He departs with immediate effect ahead of his contract concluding at the end of the current campaign. The club thanks Ben for his services and wishes him well for the future.”

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Irish assistant Les Kiss linked with Super Rugby role as Ben Meehan quits Exiles

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