Wokingham Today

Kennedy quits Irish role


NICK KENNEDY has left London Irish.

The former director of rugby’s position looked under threat following the arrivals of technical consultant Declan Kidney and head coach Les

Kiss earlier this month, but they had hoped Kennedy would continue to work alongside them.

Kennedy, 35, stepped up as academy boss to take charge of the first team in the summer of 2016, winning the Championsh­ip title at the first time of asking and he also made over 200 appearance­s for the Exiles before moving into coaching.

However, he has decided to step away with the club on the brink of relegation from the Premiershi­p having won just twice all campaign.

“London Irish will always have a special place in my heart,” said Kennedy.

“This was not a decision that

I made lightly as there are a great bunch of coaches and players at Hazelwood.

“I’m proud I helped change the academy from a two star to a five star RFU rating and to have gone undefeated for a season to win the Under-18 Premiershi­p Rugby title.

“I’m proud we won the Championsh­ip at the first time of asking, only losing one game all season, and I’m very proud of the players and how they fought to the end of every game.

“I’d also like to thank the fans for their outstandin­g support over the years and I hope that they will be enjoying success in the future.”

The remainder of Kennedy’s coaching staff are set to continue in their roles with Paul Hodgson, Declan Danaher and George Skivington all present for Saturday’s defeat to Gloucester.

“Nick was an excellent player and we believed that he had a promising career in front of him as a coach, which we had hoped that he would fulfil under the guidance of Declan Kidney and Les Kiss,” said Irish president and majority shareholde­r Mick Crossan.

“So we’re disappoint­ed that he has decided to move on.

“However, we have accepted his decision and wish him all the best for the future.”

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