Leinster coach Leo Cullen, who is still searching for a new defence coach, has moved to downplay links with former Bath coach Mike Ford for the position.
Outgoing defence coach Kurt McQuilkin has decided to return to New Zealand for personal reasons and as the most experienced member of Leinster's coaching staff his departure is a setback.
The search for his successor is ongoing and although Ford has been linked with the position, Cullen has admitted those reports are not entirely accurate.
“We’re making progress,” Cullen told The42 at the PRO12 launch in Dublin.
“Kurt is going to be here for a couple of weeks anyway. I’ve been in talks with Kurt over the last weeks and months. Our thoughts are with him and his family.
“Behind the scenes, we’ve had a few different discussions and some of what’s been reported on aren’t necessarily accurate. But we’re working away on somebody not just to fill a gap but really add to the group."
Cullen also said that McQuilkin’s successor doesn’t need to begin immediately after the former centre leaves his position.
“Not necessarily, no. We’re happy we’re set up for a period if needs be. We just want to get the right person.”