Matt O' Connor rugby player
Matt O' Connor rugby player

Matt O' Connor

29th Jan 1971 1.80m/90kg Coach

Playing his club rugby in Canberra, O'Connor captained the ACT provincial team (1993-95) and represented Australia at every level, winning a senior cap in 1994.

He changed codes in 1996, playing rugby league in Australia and then accepting a contract in France, but returned to union with Kubota Corporation in Japan as player and then coach. As head coach there, he took them into the top four of the league for the first time.

Returning to Canberra in 2004, he spent four seasons as Brumbies assistant coach and three years with the Australia 'A' squad.

The former Australia international centre re-joined Tigers as head coach in April 2017 after winning three Premiership titles in his previous five-year spell at Welford Road.

O'Connor first arrived at Leicester Tigers as backs coach under Heyneke Meyer in the summer of 2008 after previously working with the Brumbies and as assistant coach of Australia 'A'.

At Tigers, he won Premiership titles in 2009, 2010 and 2013, also reaching Premiership Finals in 2011 and 2012, lifted the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2012 and reached the European Cup Final in 2009.

During his spell as backs coach, and head coach from the summer of 2010, Tigers were top try-scorers in Premiership rugby four times in five years.

O'Connor was in charge of Leicester for the final three games of the 2016-17 season as the club beat Newcastle and Worcester to seal fourth place, before losing out in the play-off semi-finals by one point at Wasps.

But in the 2017 season, the Tigers lost nine times, with defeat at home to Newcastle in the penultimate game of the season ending any hope of a top-four finish.

In September 2018, O'Connor was sacked as Leicester's head coach after the Tigers lost 40-6 at Exeter in their opening Premiership game of the 2018/19 season.

(LS September 4, 2018)


leicester Leicester Tigers
2017 - present
leinster Leinster Rugby
2013 - 2015
reds Queensland Reds
2016 - 2016