Leo Cullen has been announced as the new Leinster head coach on a two-year deal.

Cullen had been working in the role of interim coach since the departure of head coach Matt O'Connor at the tail end of last season, having served as the Australian's forwards coach for the past season.

Cullen announced to the squad this morning that he had accepted the role on a full-time basis.

Leinster Rugby CEO Mick Dawson said: "We are delighted that Leo has agreed to become our head coach and to continue an association with Leinster Rugby that started back in 1995 with the schools team. We are all very much looking forward to the next two years under his tutelage."

"Over the last 12 months or so in his capacity with the forwards, and indeed over the pre-season as interim head coach, Leo has continued to impress everyone at Leinster with his tactical and strategic direction" - Leinster CEO Mick Dawson

Dawson continued: "Leo's status as a player is beyond question.

"He is second only to Gordon D'Arcy in terms of senior appearances and he was an outstanding captain and leader on the pitch.

"Over the last 12 months or so in his capacity with the forwards, and indeed over the pre-season as interim head coach, Leo has continued to impress everyone at Leinster with his tactical and strategic direction."

Dawson said the province went through a detailed process to appoint a new manager: "It was a thorough and robust interview process and we took our time to ensure that this was the case.

"The process included the input of all relevant stakeholders, and ultimately Leo was the best candidate that we interviewed."

Details of Cullen's backroom staff were also announced with Kurt McQuilkin's short-term arrangement as defence coach being extended to two years.

John Fogarty continues as provincial scrum coach. Girvan Dempsey will serve as backs coach on a short-term contract until the end of the Rugby World Cup, which will lead to continued speculation that Kiwi Tony Browne could be appointed to the role alongside Dempsey in the coming months.

Richie Murphy, who is currently serving as skills coach with Ireland until the end of the World Cup, will return to Leinster as skills and kicking coach in November.

Cullen's first game in charge will be the pre-season friendly with Ulster at Kingspan Stadium this Friday.

His first competitive game will be away to Edinburgh in the Pro12 on Friday 4 September.