Defence coach Kurt McQuilkin is leaving Leinster to move home to New Zealand for personal reasons, the club announced this morning.

The former Leinster captain played 32 times for the province and won five caps for Ireland.

McQuilkin was part of the backroom team that saw Leinster win their first ever Heineken Cup, in 2009.

After some time away, he returned to the club at the beginning of last season, taking over defensive duties.

Leinster paid tribute to the outgoing coach, saying that under his stewardship Leinster conceded the least amount of tries in the Guinness PRO12 as they reached the Final in BT Murrayfield.

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen said "This is very sad news for Kurt and his family and our priority is supporting Kurt in his decision as best we can.

"He will be with us for a few more weeks but after that he will head back home with our very best wishes in very trying circumstances and with the thanks of everyone at Leinster Rugby for his stellar contribution over the last 12 months.

 "The process of replacing Kurt has already begun but right now our focus is on Kurt and ensuring that his move back home is as seamless as possible.”