Assistant coach and former player for Leinster Felipe Contepomi is leaving the province to join Argentina’s coaching staff under Michael Cheika.
As a coach, he helped the side to three PRO14 titles after bringing home a Celtic League trophy and Champions Cup as a player.
Contepomi will return home to coach for the nation he won 87 caps for to help the current generation of Argentine players to greatness.
“It’s been a privilege for everyone at Leinster Rugby to have had the opportunity to work with Felipe over the last four seasons,” said Leinster head coach Leo Cullen.
“He is a great character to have around and has made a huge contribution to so many areas of the club.
“We were all excited at the thought of ‘getting Felipe back’ to coach the group and he has definitely lived up to our hopes. He is a great tactician, and I am sure he will go on to enjoy an outstanding coaching career.
“Of course, we will miss Felipe but everyone understands the opportunity to return to Argentina to take up an exciting new role, plus the draw of being closer to family. This day was always likely to come but for me, the memories are only good ones as we celebrate the successes we have shared. Hopefully, we can add to those by finishing this season as strongly as possible.
“On behalf of everyone at Leinster, I would like to wish Felipe, Sofia and the rest of the Contepomi family all the best for the future. They will always have the warmest of welcomes here in Dublin and who knows, maybe there will be a ‘third coming’ down the line!”
The World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee is excited for his return home but has fond memories of his time in Ireland.
Speaking with Leicester’s website, Contepomi said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for me and for my family to return home but I would like to say how thankful I am to Leo Cullen and to Leinster Rugby for the opportunity to come back to Leinster and to Dublin over the last few years.
“It was an easy decision to come back to the club and I have loved every minute of my time here working with Leo and all the coaches and backroom team. Of course, I would also like to thank all the players that I have had the privilege and the pleasure to work with. My time as a coach has only added to the warmth and the love I have for the club from my time here as a player.
“While there have been great moments on the field, it is the memories and the friendships made off the field that I will take with me.
“There is still of course a huge end to the season to come and I hope to finish the season strong before heading home.
“This is a proud moment for me and for my family. The opportunity and the challenge presented by Michael Cheika and the UAR is one that excites me and I very much look forward to continuing my coaching journey back home. To be able to coach your country is special. There is no higher honour as a coach and I look forward to getting started in due course.
“Dublin and Leinster have been very good to me as a player and as a coach, and I will forever be grateful for all that we have achieved together.
“But the time is right for me now to return home and I will leave with nothing but fond memories of a great club, great supporters and my home away from home.”