From The RTÉ 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...?