Leicester Tigers appoint Geordan Murphy as head coach

Geordan Murphy represented Ireland 72 times and made two appearances for the British & Irish Lions. Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Leicester Tigers have appointed caretaker boss Geordan Murphy as their new head coach, the Premiership club said on Tuesday.

Murphy, 40, took charge of the team on an interim basis in September after head coach Matt O'Connor left following a 40-6 drubbing at Exeter in their season opener.

"It is a huge honour to be asked to be head coach at a club I know so well," said Murphy, who joined the club as a player in 1997.

The eight-time Premiership champion and double European Cup winner scored 93 tries in 322 games for Tigers before taking up a role on their coaching staff in 2013.

"This club means a lot to me, I've been here a long time and we all want to enjoy success with the Tigers," Murphy said.

Leicester are only three points off the foot of the Premiership table after three victories from nine matches and were defeated by Racing 92 on Sunday to leave their Champions Cup hopes hanging by a thread.

Murphy said the club was at its lowest point in 20 years following the result, which was their eighth defeat in a row.

"We've had a challenging start and we're working hard to improve performances and results, but this is also the start of a journey for this coaching team and playing group," Murphy added.

The Tigers host Harlequins in the Premiership on Saturday before they travel to Bath on Dec.30.