Leo Cullen confirmed as new Leinster Rugby head coach

Leo Cullen has signed a two-year deal. David Rogers/Getty Images

Leinster have confirmed the permanent appointment of Leo Cullen as their head coach.

Cullen, who won over 220 caps for the Leinster and captained the Irish province to three Heineken Cup titles, has penned a two-year contract in the role.

"We are delighted that Leo has agreed to become our head coach and to continue an association with Leinster Rugby that started back in 1995 with the schools team. We are all very much looking forward to the next two years under his tutelage," Leinster CEO Mick Dawson told the club's official website.

"Leo's status as a player is beyond question. He is second only to Gordon D'Arcy in terms of senior appearances and he was an outstanding captain and leader on the pitch. Over the last 12 months or so in his capacity with the forwards and indeed over the pre-season as interim head coach, Leo has continued to impress everyone at Leinster with his tactical and strategic direction.

"It was a thorough and robust interview process and we took our time to ensure that this was the case. The process included the input of all relevant stakeholders, and ultimately Leo was the best candidate that we interviewed."

Cullen was already working in the role on an interim basis following the departure of Matt O'Connor at the end of last season. His first competitive fixture in charge will be the Guinness PRO12 opener away to Edinburgh on September 4.

Leinster have also confirmed that defence coach Kurt McQuilkin has been given a two-year contract, while backs coach Girvan Dempsey is on a short-term contract until after the Rugby World Cup. Richie Murphy will return as kicking and skills coach after his involvement with Ireland at the World Cup.

Dawson added: "This is an exciting time for Leinster Rugby. We have great talent coming through our Sub and full Academy. We had 25 players called up to provisional World Cup squads and we have signed players during the summer that our supporters can get really excited about.

"I am sure I echo everyone's sentiments when I wish Leo and the lads the very best of luck over the coming season."