Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor has been sacked from his post following a disappointing season which saw the province miss out on a play-off spot in the Guinness Pro12 and exit the Rugby Champions Cup at the semi-final stage to eventual winners Toulon.

The Australian succeeded Joe Schmidt in 2013 and won the Pro12 title in his first season in the hotseat but domestic performances this term have been less impressive as Leinster finished 13 points adrift of Glasgow and Munster in fifth.

Former Leinster captain Leo Cullen will take temporary charge of the team.

The announcement of O'Connor's departure was made by Leinster CEO Mick Dawson following a meeting of the Professional Games Board.
He said: "During Matt's time here we won the Pro12 during his first season and have made progress in both European campaigns.

"Matt will leave Leinster Rugby with the best wishes and thanks of all involved with the province for all his hard work during his two years.

"We wish Matt the very best of luck for the future and thank him sincerely for his contribution to Leinster.”

O'Connor said: "I am disappointed and frustrated with our form in the Pro12 this season.

"We set high standards for ourselves and for many reasons, we did not achieve those highs throughout the league this campaign.
"However the European journey that we took over two seasons, for a new group of coaches, players and staff, is one that we can be very proud of.

"The dynamic in Europe has changed with meritocracy and fewer teams competing and this has improved the quality.

"We went toe to toe with the best and there is no shame in losing to Toulon by the smallest of margins. I'm extremely proud of the group and the character shown.”