London Irish confirm Coventry as new head coach

Tom Coventry will return home to New Zealand

English Premiership Rugby club London Irish have confirmed that Super Rugby winning assistant coach Tom Coventry will take over as their new head coasch later this year.

Coventry has won two Super Rugby titles with the Chiefs in Hamilton New Zealand and he will join the Exiles for the start of the 2015/16 Aviva Premiership season.

The former loose forward has been an integral part of the Chiefs during their most successful times having won two Super Rugby titles in the last three years. Coventry has also been involved with the Samoan squad as Co-Head Coach, a role he has held since 2011.

Waikato born and raised, Coventry played 52 games for Waikato between 1988 and 1994, scoring 14 tries and winning the NPC in 1992 before his coaching career began with Otago University.

Tom’s coaching career includes, amongst others, roles with New Zealand Schools, New Zealand U20s and four years as Co-Head Coach of Hawke’s Bay where he won the ITM Cup.

Commenting on his decision to join London Irish, Tom said,”I had lengthy discussions with the Board of Directors at London Irish and with the significant investment that has been put into the Club, especially with the new training facility, it made my decision to join a straightforward one. “

“The owners have a clear vision of where they want to take the Club and it is a challenge I am immensely excited by and I cannot wait to get stuck in when I join.

“I have enjoyed my time with the Chiefs and will continue to do so until it is time to go, but I think to stay fresh as a coach it is important to immerse yourself in new environments, new challenges and experiences which is what I am going to do.”

Bob Casey, London Irish Rugby Development Director, said, “The Club’s rugby committee has undertaken an extensive international search to find a top calibre coach to take London Irish forward.

“Tom Coventry proved to be an outstanding candidate given his individual character and rugby experience. He comes from the best rugby environment in the world where he has had much success and worked with two of New Zealand’s leading coaches in Wayne Smith and Dave Rennie.

“It is a great coup for London Irish to secure a coach of Tom’s calibre to lead our rugby programme over the coming seasons. We look forward to welcoming Tom and his family into the London Irish family.”

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