Kurt McQuilkin thanks Leinster and their players for show of support

Departing defence coach is grateful for kind gesture made by way of the Shave Or Dye fundraising effort

Kurt McQuilkin

Defence Coach Kurt McQuilkin ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Ex-Leinster defence coach Kurt McQuilkin has thanked the province, fans and players for their support.

The New Zealand native and ex-Ireland international left Leinster for personal reasons and players took part in the Shave Or Dye campaign to raise funds for McQuilkin and his family.

As part of the fundraising drive, players either shaved their hair or dyed it.

McQuilkin says the kind gesture took him by surprise and he took time to thanks those who have supported him at a difficult time.

Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

He told the Leinster Rugby website: "This was not an easy decision by any means because you do become very close to a team and to this team in particular and to this group of players and coaches. The last week or so and the support they have shown both me and my family I suppose reinforces that feeling that I have for Leinster Rugby. This is a special place with special people.

"But I am needed at home. And that is where I must go to be with my family and with my dad and sister in particular who are ill as they go through a tough time and to support them up close rather than from afar.

"I would though like to thank from the bottom of my heart all those that have supported the fundraising efforts."

Since the campaign began, almost €7,000 has been raised for McQuilkin and his family from the GoGetFunding page.