Premiership champions Leicester have appointed Australia assistant coach Dan McKellar as their new head coach from next season. McKellar will replace interim coach Richard Wigglesworth, who took over from former boss Steve Borthwick when he took charge of England in December.
The 46-year-old returns to club coaching after a successful five-year stint in charge of the ACT Brumbies in Super Rugby, which ended in 2022.
He first joined the Australia set-up in 2021 while head coach of the Brumbies and was widely touted as the heir apparent to former Australia boss Dave Rennie.
But when Rennie was sacked in January, ex-England coach Eddie Jones was appointed instead.
Leicester said in a club statement on Wednesday that McKellar had signed a long-term deal that would start on July 1, 2023.
“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,” McKellar said.
“There are strong links with the community, with the supporters and knowing that I will be a part of game days at Welford Road with 25,000 people in the stands lights a fire for me.”
Leicester, who were crowned Premiership champions last year, have won just twice in the English top flight since Borthwick stood down and are languishing in eighth place.
Rugby Australia said it was working on finalising the coaching staff to join Jones in the lead-up to the World Cup in France, which starts in September.
“We are disappointed that Dan will not continue with the Wallabies this year,” said Rugby Australia chief Andy Marinos.
“Together with Eddie we will continue to work hard to assemble a quality coaching staff to deliver a high-performing environment in our preparation for the Rugby Championship and Rugby World Cup later this year.”