Kidney and Kiss team up again at London Irish


London (AFP)

Declan Kidney and Les Kiss, who guided Ireland to Six Nations Grand Slam glory in 2009, have been reunited after joining the coaching set-up of English Premiership strugglers London Irish.

Former Ireland coach Kidney has been appointed technical director, succeeding South Africa's Brendan Venter who leaves the club, while his former assistant Kiss has been named head coach of an Exiles side that lie bottom of the Premiership table.

The pair have signed three-year contracts, which will remain in place regardless, as seems likely, if the club are relegated from English rugby union's top flight at the end of the season, with the duo working alongside director of rugby Nick Kennedy.

"I'm under no illusions that this is going to be a challenging job," said Kidney on Friday. "English club rugby is very competitive, and it is going to take several years for us to cement a place at the top end of the Aviva Premiership, but I believe that with the right structures this becomes a realistic ambition for us.

"I'm particularly excited to be working with Les Kiss again. We had a great relationship with the Ireland national team and I know that he is the right person to join me on this journey. We can't wait to get started."

Kidney steered Irish province Munster to two European Cup triumphs before taking charge of Ireland from 2008 for a five-year spell.

Kiss joined the Ireland set-up a year after Kidney and remained on board until 2015, when he became director of rugby at Ulster before resigning from his post with the Irish province earlier this year.

"Declan is a great person to work with, and I'm looking forward to joining him at London Irish," said Kiss. "It is a big job for us, but one we are relishing."