Leinster Rugby have confirmed head coach Leo Cullen’s coaching team with the appointment of Girvan Dempsey as backs coach up until the end of the 2016/17 season. Meanwhile, Richie Murphy has accepted an offer from the IRFU of a full-time role with the Union.
Girvan Dempsey has been Leinster Academy Manager since November 2012 and as part of that role has guided Leinster ‘A’ to back-to-back British & Irish Cup titles, while also overseeing the progression of a number of Academy players into the senior ranks.
He was also a coach with the Emerging Ireland team that won the Tbilisi Cup last June and most recently has been interim backs coach with Leinster during the current Rugby World Cup period.
Speaking to the Leinster website, the 82-times capped former Ireland international said: “I’ve really enjoyed the last few months and being involved with the senior team on a daily basis and I’m delighted that Leinster have offered me the role going forward.
“We have a busy schedule ahead of us and obviously there are challenges with so many of the lads being away at the World Cup, but the players in the environment have applied themselves brilliantly and I think you saw that again (against the Dragons) on Saturday.”
The Terenure College clubman is looking forward to continuing to work with the younger players who he has already managed in the Academy.
“The quality of backs at our disposal is well known. Many of whom are doing a great job at the World Cup with the Irish team at present and I look forward to working with them all over the coming seasons.
“But I am also hugely energised by the talent that is bubbling away behind the senior set-up, and I’m excited to continue that journey that began in the Academy with those lads into the senior set-up.”
Dempsey made his Leinster debut against Ulster in September 1996 and went on to make 175 appearances for the province, winning two Celtic League/PRO12 titles and a Heineken Cup during his time. He retired at the end of the 2009/10 season but not before being inducted into the IRUPA Hall of Fame.
In confirming the make-up of his coaching team, Leo Cullen paid tribute to Richie Murphy who has been working with the Leinster senior squad in a full-time capacity since June 2010 as skills and kicking coach.
The former Leinster out-half, who played All-Ireland League rugby with Greystones, Clontarf, Co. Carlow and Old Belvedere, was previously a Rugby Development Officer and Elite Player Development Officer where he oversaw the province’s underage development programme.
As coach to the province’s senior side, he was involved in three Heineken Cup wins, an Amlin Challenge Cup success and the back-to-back PRO12 titles in 2013 and 2014.
Cullen said: “Richie is a Leinster man through and through. He has played a very important role in all of Leinster’s success over the last few seasons.
“He has worked incredibly hard in driving standards and helping in the development of our players. We all wish Richie the very best in the short term with Ireland at the World Cup and into the future as he takes on a full-time role with the national team.”
Head coach Cullen also spoke about Dempsey’s appointment and his development over the last few years, adding: “Girvan had an amazingly successful career as a player with both Leinster and Ireland. Since his retirement in 2010 from playing, he has played a vital role in developing much of the talent that you see today with his work as Elite Player Development Officer and more recently as Academy Manager and Leinster ‘A’ team coach.
“After a successful coaching stint with Emerging Ireland in June, we are delighted that he has agreed to join the senior coaching group on a full-time basis.”
As a result of Dempsey’s appointment, Cullen confirmed that Leinster Rugby would be working with the IRFU to fill the vacant Academy Manager position as soon as possible and that in the mean-time, Elite Player Development Officers Hugh Hogan and Shaun Berne will take control of the Leinster ‘A’ squad for their upcoming interprovincial fixtures against Ulster Ravens, Munster ‘A’ and Connacht Eagles.
As part of Leinster’s coaching and management appointments over the summer months, Guy Easterby has become the province’s head of rugby operations and will oversee other areas within Leinster Rugby on top of his previous role as team manager.