Leinster’s Kurt McQuilkin has returned to New Zealand for personal reasons.
Leinster have this morning announced that Kurt McQuilkin will step down as defence coach and return to New Zealand for personal reasons.
The news will come as a blow to the province, who will have to appoint a new defence coach as their pre-season preparations come to a conclusion. Indeed, McQuilkin proved invaluable to Leinster during his two spells at the province.
The kiwi coach played a key role in developing Leinster’s defensive structures during their 2008/09 Heineken Cup winning campaign, and returned to the province at the beginning of last last season.
Under McQuilkin’s stewardship, Leinster conceded the least amount of tries in the Pro 12 last season, and was one of the more experienced members of Leo Cullen’s coaching team.
Indeed, despite reaching the Pro 12 final, Leinster brought in Graham Henry as a consultant this summer after Leo Cullen came in for a great deal of criticism throughout last season.
Therefore, McQuilkin’s loss will be greatly felt by Leinster, and will force the province to begin searching for a new defence coach before they kick off their Pro 12 campaign in two weeks time.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena