Assistant Coach Clark Laidlaw has been appointed the new Head Coach of the All Blacks Sevens, London Irish and New Zealand Rugby have announced today.
Laidlaw, who joined the Exiles ahead of the 2015/16 season, will take up his new role next summer.
Formerly Skills Coach and Video Analyst within the All Blacks Sevens set-up as well as Assistant Coach of the Hurricanes, Laidlaw is regarded as one of the brightest young coaches in New Zealand.
Laidlaw said: “It’s a once in a life time opportunity to become Head Coach of the All Blacks Sevens team and I’m excited at the challenge that lies ahead.
“This is a great move for both me and my family, and I would like to thank London Irish and New Zealand Rugby for working together to make this move happen.
“My main focus is currently with London Irish and ensuring that the team is fully prepared each week as we continue to embrace the relentless nature of the Greene King IPA Championship.
“There is a real feel good factor around London Irish at present and the building blocks are certainly in place for the club to realise its long-term ambitions under Nick Kennedy.”
Director of Rugby Nick Kennedy said: “Clark is a very talented coach and this is a fantastic opportunity for him to progress his career on the international scene with New Zealand Rugby.
“This is a great move for him and his family and we will wish him well in the next chapter of his coaching career.
“Clark has done a superb job for us so far this season, and he’s made it clear that his focus is solely on helping London Irish realise its ambitions.”