London Irish have announced that Declan Kidney has been appointed the club’s new director of rugby following a spell of technical consultant.

Kidney arrived at the Madejski Stadium as they faced relegation from the Premiership, which eventually materialised, but the club have been impressed by the impact the former Munster man has had.

"Declan has been brilliant since arriving as technical consultant," said chief executive Brian Facer

"We’ve seen players and staff alike bring a positive approach to their work both on and off the pitch, and this was reflected in the improved performances we saw towards the end of the Aviva Premiership campaign.

"We’re delighted that Declan has agreed to take up his post as director of rugby and are looking forward to seeing him put the building blocks in place for sustainable success in the future."

Kidney is targeting promotion with the side next season.

He said: "We are excited about the future..

"A number of players have moved on for one reason or another, but we are very enthusiastic about the commitment that has been shown by a talented young breed of players to London Irish.

"We have an academy with a proven track record of bringing through talented young individuals, some good new signings, and senior players who have shown the willingness to help us develop a sustainable squad. If we all work hard the future can be bright for us and we can achieve all our goals.

"We are building a squad that is not just good enough to gain promotion from an extremely challenging and competitive Championship, but who can then use the lessons from this season should we get back to the Premiership in 2019.

"The potential move back into London is also an incredibly exciting prospect and I know that Mick Crossan, Brian Facer and the rest of the board are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to achieve this goal. So, I see no reason not to be a part of what could be a fantastic journey ahead for all involved."