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Matt O’Connor leaves Leicester Tigers one game into the Premiership season

Leicester Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor has left the club one game into the new Premiership season.

The Australian’s exit at Welford Road follows the team’s 40-6 thumping by Exeter Chiefs at the weekend when the hosts romped in six tries.

O’Connor commented after the win the team needed ‘to get back on the horse’, but they will do so without their head coach who is replaced by assistant coach Geordan Murphy on an interim basis.

In a club statement, chairman Peter Tom said: “We believe the time is right to make this change in the best interests of the Tigers moving forward.

“We have to fix the things that are not up to speed, we have to be better at the set piece and look after the ball better. We have to get ourselves into scoring positions – there were very few rucks at the Exeter end today.

“We would like to thank Matt for his hard work and commitment to the club in two spells at Welford Road, and we wish him and his family well for the future.”

The opening day result tapers on from a disappointing campaign last season when the Tigers failed to qualify for the play-offs for the first time since 2004, finishing in fifth.

Eager to return the ten-time champions of England to their former glories, Tom added Murphy would be able to rely on the full support of the board and coaches Mark Bakewell, Boris Stankovich and Brett Deacon.

“As a club, Leicester Tigers will always aspire to challenge for major honours in the incredibly competitive arena of professional elite club rugby and everyone at the club will fully support Geordan and the management group in driving the team forward.

“Geordan knows the expectations and ambitions of the Tigers as well as anyone after more than 20 years here as player and coach, and we wish him and the team the very best for the challenges ahead.”

O’Connor was in his second spell at the club after spending time as a coach under Richard Cockerill between 2010 and 2013.

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