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Who will succeed Eddie O'Sullivan?

Irish Ireland
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Speculation is already rife as to who the Irish Rugby Football Union will appoint to succeed Eddie O'Sullivan, who resigned as Ireland coach on Wednesday night.

A hot tip for the job is former Welsh coach MIKE RUDDOCK, who led Wales to a surprise Grand Slam in his only season in charge in 2005. He has Irish connections, having formerly coached Leinster, and his son is set to play for the Ireland Under-19s this weekend. Currently coaching Worcester Warriors in the Guinness Premiership.

Another near the top of the IRFU wish-list is likely to be JAKE WHITE, the mastermind behind South Africa's World Cup triumph last autumn. However, the future of England boss Brian Ashton remains in doubt and the in-demand White has already made it clear he would accept an invitation from the Six Nations runners-up.

WAYNE SMITH enjoyed a productive spell reviving the fortunes of Northampton and also guided Canterbury Crusaders to Super 12 glory in two successive years.
Appointed New Zealand coach in 1999, he was deposed in 2001 following a poor Tri-Nations.
Linked up with Graham Henry as backs coach for his second stint with the All-Blacks but that ended in failure with a quarter-final exit at last autumn's World Cup.

DECLAN KIDNEY has been installed as one of the favourites by the bookmakers and seems the only strong Irish contender. Has enjoyed Heineken Cup success with Munster but remains to be seen whether his approach with the Irish province would translate successfully to Ireland.

JOHN MITCHELL is a former All-Black coach who has successfully revived the fortunes of Western Force in Australia. A hot tip with many pundits.

PAT HOWARD guided Leicester to a Premiership and EDF Energy Cup double in 2007 and recently became general manager of the Australian Rugby Union's high performance unit.
A bright and superb man manager, he may attract the IRFU who are eager to appoint a forward-thinking coach after years of O'Sullivan's conservatism.
Howard is now available, having stepped down from his job with the ARU.

Among the outsiders for the post are ALAN GAFFNEY who would appear to be ruled out by the fact that he has agreed to join Leinster as backs coach in August.

MICHAEL CHEIKA has recently agreed a new two-year deal with Leinster, MATT WILLIAMS is enjoying life at Ulster after a failed spell in charge of Scotland.

Who do you think the new Ireland coach should be?
Should the IRFU look to appoint an Irish coach or someone from beyond the island with a proven pedigree?

Latest 10 comments

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posted Mar 25, 2008

Yes, EOS has been Ireland's most successful coach ever. Unarguable. But the teams that won those Triple Crowns are generally agreed to have contained some of the best players ever to pull on a green jersey. (Actually it's pretty much only one team: that's EOS's conservative selection policy for you!)

Compare what Wales have done in the 6N with less resource: 2 grand slams in the last four years.

The question we can never answer is how much more Ireland could have been achieved under a better coach than EOS. Three Triple Crowns and a RWC QF is scant return by comparison.

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posted Mar 25, 2008

PowerLimerick... I think you'll find that the arguments I made the mis-management of Connacht as well as the stupefying way that the IRFU have failed to use Connacht as the "Development Side" that they are portrayed as. Only O'Connor deserved to be mentioned for an Irish berth this year, because he has played an absolute stormer week in week out. None of the rest should be considered.

As for O Sullivan... he hit a wall and failed to push past it. We should have had at least 2 grand slams in his time, but we had none. That's not a success if you ask me. The Triple Crown is just something that was made up to give EOS something to parade around with.

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posted Mar 25, 2008

Reading all articles regarding Eddie's resignation i was struck by the fact that achieving the statistics to become Irelands most successful coach, this in effect was the problem with his regime. He placed victories over minnows above narrow victories/defeats where young players were blooded. He stated this was IRFU policy but i feel he was all to happy to along with this, especially at the time when we were putting in good performances again the big teams.

I appreciate that Eddie had to walk to the beat of his employers but new players could have easily been introduced while keeping his win/loss ration intact. As Keith Wood recently stated its best to blood new players when theyre surrounded by experienced players. This allows them to concentrate on the basics and get comfortable in the international arena. Look at Johno Sexton at Leinster, surrounded by experience and having great players in his ear guiding him (also having Contepomi taking kicks means he can concetrate on his game management which for an out-half is a huge plus).

I believe Eddie was a good coach but stagnated and was too safe to take a chance on players or to drop senior players when they were playig badly. Also when i look at Eddies regime its funny that many of the stand out players from that time were actually blooded under Warren Gatland and looking at the Ireland squad there arent many players that you could say Eddie took a chance on.

But lets hope the IRFU get the right man for the job, and I think gettin a foreigner in would be a start because although Kidney is doing an excellent job i think an awful lot of players need to be told either that they are too old to play at test level or that their place in the squad let alone the team is no longer guaranteed. I hope this happens and that by the time the next world cup comes around we will have a squad full of new faces who are coming off a successful Grand Slam, after all we've let too many slip in recent years

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posted Mar 25, 2008

I think Brian Ashton and Gareth Jenkins are looking for new jobs.

What they acheived for their respective countries could improve Ireland.

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posted Mar 26, 2008

Eddie needed to go-fact.He was way too conservative and failed miserably many young players who were well worth an opportunity.
Successor? There is a case for a lot of people, with the major exceptions of Kidney, Ashton and Jenkins.

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posted Mar 26, 2008

I think o'dricky23's idea of Brian Smith is a very interesting one....Anybody else think he could be part of the team?

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posted Mar 31, 2008

Has David Nucifora's name popped up in conversation? I would love to see him as Ireland coach, he got the blues playing some amazing, innovative rugby, with limited talent (compared to the crusaders). He is free and has said he wants to coach at international level. Any thoughts?

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posted Apr 2, 2008

Unfortunately I don't know enough to name names for the new man, somebody commented that it was bloody obvious and then proceeded to name 3 names. I like your style. I'm in the same boat. A French coach would be the obvious choice, but the French are too arty farty for me. The Kiwi's, now they have good coaches, but they have a tendency to choke on occasion so, thanks but no thanks. South Africa? could be. English? They have good coaches but all are to be found on the M1 or M6 but if we need to upgrade THAT coach an english one should not be dismissed out of hand. Does anybody know where yer man is that cloned Dolly, he's our man, get a mix of the 3 and the sky's the limit.

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posted Apr 7, 2008

It's got to be kidney. look at the Munster magic But the first thing he has got to to is get rid of that desperate 'Ireland's call song'I can take the cringing no more!!

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posted Apr 17, 2008

can anybody provide an update on the EOS replacment situation?
Pat Howard ruled out, Mike Ruddock too

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