Leicester Tigers sack Aaron Mauger as head coach and appoint Aussie Matt O'Connor
Leicester Tigers have sacked Aaron Mauger as head coach and immediately replaced him with Australian coach Matt O'Connor.
The former All Blacks and Crusaders star played for Leicester between 2007 and 2010 and was named head coach in 2015, signing a three-year deal with the English Premiership giants following a coaching stint with the Crusaders.
Leicester beat Exeter Chiefs 16-12 in the Anglo-Welsh Cup final last weekend to claim their first silverware in four years, but they've struggled domestically this season and failed to progress from the pool stages of the European Champions Cup.
Mauger, 36, will leave Leicester, who are England's most successful club in the professional era, after this weekend's premiership match against Northampton Saints with the Tigers fifth in the table.
Leicester's former director of rugby, Richard Cockerill, was sacked in January and Mauger admitted then he had "fundamental differences" with the club following Cockerill's departure, report the Guardian.
Matt O'Connor is to return to Welford Road as head coach pic.twitter.com/qwZmL4jYx7— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) March 20, 2017
Mauger took overall charge of Leicester on an interim basis but his time with the Tigers will come to an end.
"While preparing to welcome Matt, we are also disappointed to lose Aaron," Leicester chairman Peter Tom said in a statement.
"Matt's strengths are in his work with players on the training pitch and we are making changes to our organisational structure to enable him to focus solely on the success of the team.
"We thank Aaron for his commitment to the club over the last two seasons as head coach and especially in his time in interim charge of team affairs in recent months. We wish him well for the future."
Replacing Mauger is O'Connor, who worked with Leicester between 2008 and 2013 when the Tigers won three premiership titles.
O'Connor was initially a backs coach then head coach before joining Irish club Leinster in 2013, with whom he won the Pro12 title in his first season before getting the sack in 2015 after missing out on the play-offs and losing in the semi-final of the Champions Cup.
The 46-year-old took on coaching roles with the Queensland Reds and Tonga last year.