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Kidney confirmed as Ireland coach

by Mickado (U8586946) 07 May 2008
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From The RT Website:

Wednesday, 7 May 2008 12:04
"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.

Commenting on the announcement, Kidney said, 'There is no greater honour for any coach then 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.'"

So lads, the inevitable has happened, what think ye...?

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comment by Sin (U10300447)

posted May 7, 2008


Think you have forgotten who coached O'Gara & Stringer (and frankie Sheehan) and as their coach had them playing in a HCup semis and finals at the tender age of 20/22! And interestinginly, all are team players, have never lost the run of themselves, just like all their team mates in Munster. Tnink the coach might have something to do with that, don't you?

As regards Leamy, Horan, POC & DOC etc. there were a couple of people ahead of them like Mick Galwey, the Claw, Anthony Foley etc. - all internationals - do you think they should have been dropped? Use your head a bit :-D

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posted May 7, 2008

full_point, this is the kind of confusion I'm trying to avoid; I'm saying that Kidney couldn't have developed the likes of O'Connell into the players they currently are, I'm saying that he wasn't the one that did so. I'd say there's a difference. This is not a criticism of Kidney - I've said earlier that he's never had much reason to change most of the players in his squad, so it's not a fault that he hasn't changed players - change for the sake of change isn't such a good idea but the trouble is that he needs to make changes with Ireland.

I would argue that O'Gara was brought into the starting squad at a time when he was so significantly better than the alternatives that it would have been wasteful not to bring him into the side at that time.

Ultimately, O'Sullivan could also realise this, as any coach should, hence the likes of D'Arcy becoming first team regulars during O'Sullivan's tenure. The trouble is that large-scale changes, which Ireland are likely to need over the next few seasons, given the number of our players approaching 30, is not something Kidney has experience of.

As I said, I can see where other people are coming from but I still don't believe Kidney has experience in this area - I understand why he doesn't have the experience in this area but that doesn't change the fact that he doesn't have, in my eyes, experience in this particular area.

This whole thing is becoming a little bigger than I had intended it to, however, so now seems like a good time to bail out, or else I'll be there all night ;-)

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comment by U8237974

posted May 8, 2008

why does kidney want such a downward step from coaching a good team that tends to win to coaching a team that couldn't even crawl out of their world cup group in their "golden" era (!) and are set to get much worse?

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posted May 8, 2008

Kidney can develop players, he coached the Pres. Cork seniors where have the munster squad went to school, and he coached a lot of them while he was there, he lay the foundations for all these players

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posted May 8, 2008

I'm delighted to see him get the job. I'm a bit confused as to why he is not even going to watch the SH tour. Is he leaving Michael Bradley alone to do his own thing? For what reason? Is this part of his 'stepping back' as head coach? I'll be very interested to see who will make up his back-room team. Maybe that is what he will be focussing on after Munster play the HC final. I hope they win obviously! Just like in some of the previous posts, I'll be watching to see how he brings in some of the new talent to the Irish team, and I fervently hope players in England like Casey get a look-in. Interesting times anyway.

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posted May 8, 2008

As long as he gets the players going he has my full backing. This team needs belief!!

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comment by Sin (U10300447)

posted May 8, 2008

Neil - I don't see why you seem to think it necessary to change a team based purely on age and not on performance.

The thing is that Declan Kidney has got Munster to the stage where there is strength and depth and the likes of Denis Hurley can make his H Cup debut in a semi-final and not look out of place. Having Doug Howlett there along side him is also a help I would think (though I recon the way some people think around here that Howlett should be on his way to the knackers yard at the ripe old age of 29).

Sorry, but you seem to me to be going out of your way to look for excuses to have a pot-shot at Kidney. His record at developing youth, developing depth in his squad is exemplarly. Only problem in Munster is that they perhaps have produced more good players that there is a surplus, particularly from 1-9.

Just wondering, would Kidney be the one responsible for sorting out Darcy's career - think he might have been at Leinster then. Anyone know?

PPS - ROG has played by far his best rugby since Kidney went back to Munster.

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posted May 11, 2008

Kidney is the right man for the job.

I have reservations about his ability to develop backs though. The Munster way has always been forward dominated, and the backs are treated as an extension of the forwards!

Staunton for example was described as the most talented Munster back ever but was messed about in his positions in his formative years. Eoghan Hickey only managed one indifferent year at Munster but is now getting regular time at LI. Similarly Manning is on his way back to NZ, and the unqualified Warwick has come in as cover. Reddan and Frank Murphy both had to leave, as DK tried to convert TOL from a wing to a SH. Denis Hurley was given a chance through injury, which he took, but as Howlett was signed as FB, he obviously wasn't in DK's original HEC plans.

Maybe it's not DK's job to develop players, and as long as Ireland win few will care.

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comment by U4313325

posted May 11, 2008

Sandylagrate, ok I know DK isn't the best at developing backs there has ever been but some of the points you have made there have no substance whatsoever!

What do you want DK to do with Staunton, play him ahead of O'Gara who was still being developed himself at the time!
Eoghan Hicky was messed around first by Leinster, where they had no Irish qualified outhalf at the time!

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posted May 12, 2008

Here's the question SVR -

Why are forwards like MOD and Ryan prepared to bide their time as understudies, yet backs like Reddan and Hickey weren't?

Could it be that the forwards believe they will learn more in the opportunities they do get with Munster than any other team?

With Mafi, Tipoki and Howlett available all season, and old stagers like Payne, Kelly, Carney and Horgan out of international reckoning but regularly filling the back slots it must be fairly frustrating to be a Munster fringe back. It would have been interesting to see who got the contracts of those retiring this year, but that's not DK's problem any more.

Did you see the Cork Con v Garryowen final? Manning was superb with the boot - an aspect of his game that has come on while at Munster. On the other hand his distribution and running didn't look anywhere near as good as when he first arrived. Why?

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