The relationship between former Leicester Tigers director of rugby Geordan Murphy and Steve Borthwick was a ‘good’ one, according to the head coach.
Less than a week after Murphy’s 23-year journey at Welford Road came to an end and just days ahead of Gallagher Premiership round one clash with Gloucester, Borthwick, who arrived at the club in the summer in a move which saw Murphy switched to off-field duties, stressed there was no issues between the two.
“I think the relationship was good,” he said. “The phone calls I’ve had with Geordan in the last few days, it continues to be. First and foremost, Geordan is a tremendous person and I enjoyed the time we had working together, and how deeply he cared about Leicester Tigers and I am sure he will be continuing to support Leicester Tigers.”
Speculation of Murphy’s possible departure built following an article in the Rugby Paper last weekend which culminated in contract discussions which saw the Irishman leave ahead of the end date of his current deal, which expires at the end of this season.
Borthwick was pushed on the discussions between Tigers top brass and Murphy that culminated in them parting company by mutual consent.
“Geordan and the club management talked about clarity,” said Borthwick. “Geordan requested clarity upon the plan going forward beyond the end of the season and the club management, the board, gave the decision that they have come to, and Geordan decided he wanted to leave [immediate effect] rather than the end of the season. That’s the details of the situation.”
Murphy’s exit follows the recent losses of scrum coach Boris Stankovich and assistant coach Rob Taylor, who only joined the club during the summer.
The Tigers playing squad only reconvened at their training ground base in Oadby after 12 days apart due to a Covid-19 outbreak within the camp.
Borthwick stressed the focus was on that rather than recruiting replacements within the coaching team.
He said: “Over the last fortnight the priority has been player welfare and staff around the club and their families and the local community, in ensuring we could be in a position this week where we could come back into training.
“That has been the priority, in the background we’re looking and making plans from a coaching perspective, in terms of management perspective, that’s not my area, if you ask about people coming in terms of Geordan’s role, you’ll have to ask board members, Andrea Pinchen CEO, for clarity on that process.
“From a coaching perspective, we’re very fortunate we’ve got two very good young coaches who have stepped up and joined the coaching first team, and have been around the first team since I came in on July 1 in Matt Smith and Tom Harrison. That’s what we’re continuing with right now whilst processes are in place.”
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