Australian coach Dan McKellar to take over as new Leicester boss in July

Leicester have appointed Dan McKellar as their new head coach, with the former Australia assistant set to begin work in July.

It was announced on Wednesday that the 46-year-old had left his role with the Wallabies after two years in order to take up a post overseas.

McKellar will replace interim coach Richard Wigglesworth, who took over from former boss Steve Borthwick when he took up the England job in December.

He returns to club coaching after a successful four-year stint in charge of the ATC Brumbies in the Australian Super Rugby, where he won the competition in 2020 before finishing as runner-up the following season.

As a player he made more than 150 senior appearances as a loosehead prop for Souths Rugby Club and spent two seasons with the Queensland Reds, before spending time playing in the Republic of Ireland and in Scotland towards the end of his career.

McKellar told Tigers’ website: “This has been a big decision for me and my family, to make the move to the other side of the world together, but it is one that we are very much looking forward to doing, to be a part of a club like Leicester.

“There are strong links with the community, with the supporters and knowing that I will be a part of game days at Mattioli Woods Welford Road with 25,000 people in the stands lights a fire for me.

“What else stood out for me was that the club takes great pride in having a very strong academy programme, where we can develop our own players both culturally and from a rugby perspective.

“In the experiences I have had in the northern hemisphere, as part of tours with Australia, I have seen the passion for the game and the genuine love for the game that there is and that is what I want to be involved in.”

Leicester have won just twice in the Gallagher Premiership since Borthwick stood down, with last season’s champions languishing in eighth.

Steve Borthwick
Dan McKellar becomes the permanent successor to now-England boss Steve Borthwick, pictured (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Tigers’ chief executive officer Andrea Pinchen told the club’s website: “We are delighted to be able to confirm Dan McKellar’s appointment to the head coach role at Leicester from next season.”

“This has been a rigorous process, over a period of almost six months, and always been about ensuring that we found the very best coach to lead this club into the future and Dan McKellar is that coach.

“He has displayed the characteristics of someone who understands what Leicester is about and is highly committed to seeing the club be successful and, more importantly, consistently successful.”