Eddie O'Sullivan has signed a contract extension up until after the 2012 6N meaning he should be at the helm for the 2011 RWC also. A strange move by the IRFU this close to the RWC without waiting for any improvement on the 03 performance.
Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan has been given a major vote of confidence ahead of the Rugby World Cup after being offered a new contract that will see him in charge until 2012.
The 48-year-old's previous deal with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) was set to expire after next year's Six Nations, arguably freeing him to lead the Lions on their 2009 tour of South Africa.
However, Wednesday's news casts doubt on whether he will remain the number one candidate for the role, with Lions bosses reportedly keen on a full-time appointment.
"I am deeply honoured that the appointments committee of the IRFU should see fit to give me a further extension in my role as national coach at this time," said O'Sullivan of his new contract.
"I see it as a timely vote of confidence in me and my coaching staff at a critical point when we are about to embark on our World Cup challenge.
"Another four years at the helm further helps me to plan a strategy for the national squad into the long-term future and that is vital if we are to achieve all our shared ambitions for Irish rugby."
Following his initial appointment in November 2001 up until the 2004 Six Nations, O'Sullivan signed a contract extension in September 2003 for a four-year period to include this year's World Cup and the 2008 Six Nations.
His new deal will take in both the 2011 World Cup and 2012 Six Nations. [/b]