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An Tarbh
07-05-08, 11:23 AM
Kidney confirmed as Ireland coach
Wednesday, 7 May 2008 12:15

The IRFU has announced that Declan Kidney has been confirmed as the new head coach of the Ireland Rugby team.

The 48-year-old current Munster coach has been invited to sign a contract that will see him lead Ireland up to and including Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand.

Due to Munster's Heineken Cup final, the IRFU has decided that Kidney should not take part in the forthcoming summer tour games against The Barbarians, New Zealand and Australia, nor in the selection and preparation of that squad.

Management and Player squads relating to the summer tour and also Ireland's participation in the Churchill Cup, will be announced shortly.

Commenting on the announcement, Kidney said, 'There is no greater honour for any coach than to lead his own country.

'I have had that privilege at several levels of the game in Ireland from schools and U19's as well as working with the senior Ireland team and I am delighted to have this opportunity and to be here at what is the pinnacle of my career'.

'I have worked with many exceptional players during my career at both international and provincial level and there is no doubt that we have the talent in Ireland to be successful at the highest level.

'The challenge going forward for the Ireland team and Irish Rugby as a whole is to continue the growth and success on the field. I am excited about the challenge and looking forward to working with the players.

'My focus now for the next three weeks will be totally on the Munster team and the preparation for the Heineken European Cup final.'

IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said: 'The record of Declan Kidney speaks for itself and it was obvious from the very beginning of this process that he was one of the main contenders to lead Ireland to the next Rugby World Cup in 2011.

'His ability to achieve success and develop players in the ever increasing competitive arena of professional rugby is proven and the IRFU is delighted to have made this appointment.

'While the need to make the appointment as soon as was practicable was important, the IRFU was conscious of keeping any disruption to the preparations of the Munster team to a minimum.'

Kidney is one of the most respected and decorated coaches in Ireland and has previously coached the Ireland schools and the Ireland under-19 teams, most notably the team Ireland that won the FIRA World Cup in 1998 in a side that included current internationals Brian O'Driscoll, Donncha O'Callaghan and Paddy Wallace.

Kidney continued up the coaching ladder when he took the position of head coach with Munster, bringing them to their first Heineken Cup final in 2000. Munster reached their second final in 2002 and following that, Kidney took a role as assistant coach to the Ireland National team, working with them during the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

Kidney then coached Leinster for one season, bringing them to the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup in 2005 before returning to Munster.

Kidney's success has continued with his home province where he guided the team to a memorable victory in the competition in 2006 when Munster beat Biarritz in the Millennium Stadium to claim their first Heineken Cup.

He now has the chance to acheice Heineken Cup glory with Munster once more when they play Toulouse in the final on 24 May, before turning his attentions to the national side.

RTÉ Sport (http://www.rte.ie/sport/rugby/2008/0507/kidneyd.html)

shtove
07-05-08, 12:17 PM
They signalled a way back the summer tour coach would be a caretaker. And Donal Lenihan pretty much said it was Kidney about six weeks ago.

O'Rothlain
07-05-08, 01:17 PM
There's not tons to comment on, really, we all knew he was going to be it. He does seem to be the man for the job, so good luck and I hope this works well.
Who is going to be running the squad during the summer stuff?

An Tarbh
07-05-08, 02:43 PM
Unfortunately it's looking like Bradley who I hope for the good of Irish rugby doesn't come within an asses roar of getting the Munster job, we've heard the warnings about Jenkins, just multiply that by 100 for Bradley.

shazbooger
07-05-08, 06:30 PM
Also Heard EO'S may be in the running for the Munster Job :)

Either way, its good to see a lot of the backroom staff are being moved on aswell. Not a reflection of their performance, but simply the best way to ensure the scene is totally fresh for all players once Kidney takes over.

Here's hoping Kidney and the IRFU get these backroom appointments right, If they do, it could once again be a tome for optimism within Irish rugby.

An Tarbh
07-05-08, 06:31 PM
Absolutely and it goes without saying that Kidney gets to pick the staff that he's confortable working with rather than the IRFU foisting someone on him that he doesn't want.

snoopy snoopy dog dog
07-05-08, 08:56 PM
Either way, its good to see a lot of the backroom staff are being moved on aswell. Not a reflection of their performance, but simply the best way to ensure the scene is totally fresh for all players once Kidney takes over.[/b]
That's a great point and is one I completely agree with. The Irish setup has been listening to the same voices for too long and there's a slight fear that such a scenario could remain under Kidney. While the likes of Niall O'Donovan have done a pretty good job, I feel it's time to sweep in new ideas.

I'd be quite happy with a coaching and management lineup along these lines:

Head Coach - Declan Kidney
Team Manager - Paul McNaughton
Backs Coach - Alan Gaffney
Forwards Coach - Gert Smal
Defense Coach - Tony McGahan

All the above have tons of experience with Smal and Gaffney having tasted international rugby before. It would give Kidney a hell of a "brains trust" to bounce ideas off.

Obviously other position specific coaches must be added. I'd love to see somebody like Mike Cron poached from the All Blacks setup to guide the Irish scrum.

Sussudio
07-05-08, 09:21 PM
Decent appointment I supose, if a little uninspiring.
Just so long as long as he dosn't fill the team with big eared Munster boys.

brmcgrat
28-05-08, 12:20 AM
I'm happy enough with appointment. I was starting to get worried about the delay in announcing it though.