O’Connor joins Reds coaching staff

Date published: September 4 2015

The Reds have completed their coaching staff for next season with the appointment of former Leinster boss Matt O'Connor.

The 44-year-old has joined as attack coach on a three-year deal after being appointed by Daniel Herbert and will join head coach Richard Graham (defence) and senior assistant coach Nick Stiles (forwards) ahead of the Reds pre-season later this year. 

O’Connor brings almost 20 years of experience to the role. Most recently, he worked as head coach of Leicester in the English Premiership (2009-2013) and Leinster in the Pro 12 (2013-2015), achieving success with both teams.

Executive general manager Herbert said O’Connor was a strong addition to the Reds coaching team. 

"The Reds Rugby Panel considered a number of local and international candidates to find someone who could help us deliver the best rugby program in Australia," Herbert said.

"Matt has a proven track record. He has a history of improving rugby programs with a strong attack-based approach to his coaching.

"We’re looking forward to him making a significant contribution to Queensland Rugby."

O’Connor’s coaching career began in 1999 with Japanese side Kubota, before taking on roles with the Brumbies and Australia A. He made the move to the UK in 2009.

The 44-year-old, who represented the Wallabies in a Test against Ireland in 1994, said he was excited to return to Australia and join a revamped Reds program ahead of the 2016 season.

"Ballymore is one of the true rugby centres in Australia that still exists. It’s exciting to join an organisation with such great rugby pedigree, history and tradition," O'Connor said.

"My family has been overseas for 13 of the last 17 years, so it’s huge to be able to return to Australia and we’re looking forward to making the move to Queensland to join the Reds."