Rugby Union: Tigers settle on Dwyer

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The Independent Online
Leicester's search for a coaching director began with Bob Dwyer, the illustrious former coach of Australia, in March and ended with him yesterday when he was appointed to head up the Tigers' team for professional club rugby next season.

At the same time Ian Smith is to give up teaching at Uppingham School in order to become the full-time coach. Dwyer's appointment will begin in July when an inauspicious year in Paris as coach of Racing Club will have ended. This season - which in France culminates in tomorrow's championship final between Toulouse and Brive - the unthinkable has happened with Racing being relegated from the 20-strong top division.

However, Dwyer, 55, brings to the English cup and league runners-up an impeccable pedigree from his international days. His total of nine years guiding Australia encompassed the 1991 World Cup triumph but once his team had been knocked out of last year's tournament by England his days with the Wallabies were numbered.

"In this new era for rugby, with its huge changes, it's clear Leicester must utilise every drop of expertise it can muster," Peter Wheeler, the club's chief executive, said. "To that end we have trawled the world for the best." Indeed the trawling began even before Tony Russ's sacking as coaching director two months ago, when Dwyer's was the first name to be associated with the sudden vacancy.

Dwyer, coach of the World XV who beat Leicester at Twickenham last month, emphasised yesterday his belief in the uninhibited rugby played then rather than the more familiar, less mobile Tigers style he once described as an "abomination". His impenetrable verdict was that "the team are capable of playing whatever way they want to play. It's just the team decided they would play the way they did play."