Why Hasn’t Kidney Resigned?

In the wake of Ireland’s loss against Italy, we tweeted that Declan Kidney should have the good grace to resign later in the week. It wasn’t just hot headedness in the aftermath of a painful defeat, and we stand over it. But it hasn’t happened. Kidney’s initial reaction made it seem like it was going to – he said he’d have to think about whether he even wanted a contract, but since then he’s been defiant.  He followed that up by saying he knows what he can bring to the role, and has dug teams out of holes before.  We won’t go into the myriad daft reasons being invented by his media champions in an attempt to cobble together an argument for Kidney to be kept on, but let’s just say that anyone who thinks ‘corporate knowledge’ of a group of players is enough of a reason to give out a new contract is teetering on delusional.

Kidney appears to be angling for a new contract and is not going to go down without a fight.  It’s not exactly the most dignified end to his Irish managerial career, and by all accounts it will be the end.  By sticking around and looking for a new deal, he’s putting out a message that this year’s Six Nations campaign (fifth place, one win, one draw, three losses) is an acceptable performance, when it quite obviously is not.  While one can have sympathy with Kidney over the mounting injury toll on his squad, taking a step back and looking at how the series unfolded, it is clear that it was run in a most shambolic manner.  Almost every press release issued from camp seemed to result in 48 subsequent hours of backtracking, while the oversight in failing to ensure Jackson took placed kicks in the week before his test debut against Scotland amounts to a seroius blunder and with every passing week, the non-selection of Ian Madigan appears to look more and more ridiculous.  Even without such obvious catastrophes, there appears to be a malaise within the squad, and some fresh ideas and a new voice are needed.

There’s something terribly Irish and parochial about hanging around in your post long after your usefulness has expired.  How often have we seen our TD’s and councillors clinging to power when they should have resigned?  Ireland’s previous coach, Eddie O’Sullivan, is generally derided as an aloof, egotistical character, but he did at least recognise when his number was up.  He resigned within no more than four days of his last Six Nations match, a hammering in Twickenham against a Cipriani-inspired England.  He had three years remaining on his contract, but he knew he’d made a mess of things at the end, and it was time for a change, and he fell on his sword.  Kidney is not even in that position – he’s looking for a new contract as some sort of endorsement of recent performances.

O’Sullivan had injury troubles in his final campaign, and some bad luck too, but there was no media clamour looking to line up the excuses for him.  He lost Gordon D’arcy in his first match, and in the final game in Twickenham he had a patched-up backline on the field, with Shane Horgan and Andrew Trimble playing the majority of the match in the centre, and a very green Luke Fitzgerald and Rob Kearney, along with a newly recalled Tommy Bowe in the back three.  Against Wales, when Ireland lost narrowly, Shane Horgan was inches from scoring a try but couldn’t quite stretch out his arm far enough to score.  Ireland finished the series with two wins, one more than Kidney achieved this time around.  The game was up and the coach quit.  Kidney should do the same.



  1. Conor O Brien

     /  March 27, 2013

    What a joke of a post “why has’t Kidney resigned” maybe because he doesn’t want to?

  2. abitofshoepie

     /  March 27, 2013

    I think there is a chance he might get a new contract…..it sounds like the IRFU is not exactly awash with cash, so going through to the next World Cup with the incumbent coaching team, as opposed to a big name who wants his own hand picked team as well, may be the cheapest option for them. They can also sell it as Ireland moving to a more professional ‘world cup cycle’ coaching ticket strategy…

  3. JamesGunner

     /  March 27, 2013

    A little bit of a pointless article if he wants to apply for the job again is that not his choice?

    • It is his choice, of course. But the whole point of the piece is that the honourable thing to do resign his position and let someone else take over.

  4. MunsterMan

     /  March 27, 2013

    Well given the IRFu or Kidney never outline our targets for a six nations it is not that surprising he hasn’t resigned is it win 3 r 4 games? or blood players etc?

    • You really don’t think Kidney had specific targets for the Six Nations? Pull the other one…

      • The point being we don’t no the bloody targets I’d imagine!

      • I think it’s safe to assume he hasn’t hit them Tommy. We won two games in the last Six Nations and one game this. Let’s not be ridiculous about it.

  5. anoonamous

     /  March 27, 2013

    I don’t understand how he could possibly believe that he is in with a shout of securing a new contract. Is he just seeing it out to get the extra 2 months wages? An extra couple of grand before he goes the way of Eddie O’Sullivan and finds himself unable to secure a top job ever again.

  6. I think Kidney has a reason to reapply although I hope he doesn’t get it.

    From 08 – 11 One Grand slam and World Cup quarter finals was a job well done. QFS were minimum expectations but we did beat the Aussies and top the group for the first time which was a small bonus and the Slam was defiantly a bonus considering the Irish team was the way down and most players past their peak.

    Sense the World Cup things haven’t been great but it has been a serious period of transition. Kilcoyne, Strauss, Archer, Bent, Fitzpatrick, Touhy, McCathy, Henderson, Henry, O Mahony, P Marshall, Madigan, Jackson, Gilroy, L Marshall and S zebo have all won their first caps sense the last world cup so at the moment the team is changing slowly but surely into a new one that can take us to the next world cup.

    We haven’t fielded Fez, BOD and POC at the one time sense the last world cup. In fact BOD and POC haven’t graced the same field sense the World Cup. Arguably 3 of our 5 best ever players.

    We also had key injuries to Sexton, Best, Bowe, BOD, Kearney and Sexton in the last six nations and the November series. Whatever you say about the injury prone Ferris and POC those players are key to Irish team who ever the manager is so in my opinion it is inevitable we did lose games given we have a relatively small player pool and considering we haven’t lost a game by seven points sense the thumping by the All Blacks you can logically assume with a full deck we would have won more then half those games we lost.

    So given the injuries and more so the volume of them, the glimpses of quality play when he had something close to our best team on the field (Argentina and Wales come to mind) and the huge turnover of players it is understandable he wouldn’t resign and may want to reapply and personally I don’t think he should berated like ye always do Whiff I no ye passionate and all that come on give the man a break!

    • Amiga500

       /  March 27, 2013

      Stall the ball a second!

      The 2009 grand slam team was on the way down?!? Apart from the bull edging to retirement, Horan on the wane and TOL’s complete loss of form, pretty much all of that team continued to operate at the same high level (at least, provincially in the HEC) for the next 2 years.

      Kearney; Bowe, B O’Driscoll (capt), P Wallace, Fitzgerald; O’Gara, O’Leary; Horan, Flannery, Hayes, O’Callaghan, O’Connell, Ferris, D Wallace, Heaslip.

      “Since the World Cup things haven’t been great but it has been a serious period of transition.” & “_,_, _ etc have all won their first caps”

      The transition has been the result of injuries. All those players have more or less begrudgingly been given first caps as the previous incumbent was on a physio’s table! I would very much hesitate to commend Declan Kidney on his blooding of youth, when, in reality, it was injuries that forced his hand.

    • Tommy, we know you will support Kidney to the end, which is fine, but this argument looks highly selective and doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny.

      The World Cup, and the two Six Nations before it were most certainly not a ‘job well done’. Beating Australia was great, magnificent, a tactical masterclass, but it only got us to the top of the pool and became irrelevant once we’d lost to Wales. Once you’re out you’re out, and we were out in the quarter-finals. Australia went further than us in the tournament. And if you want to paint the two series where we won three from five, lost at home to Scotland and played perhaps the most reductive, creatively barren game I’ve ever seen from an Ireland team in the Millneium stadium (kicking the ball a whopping 51 times!) in losing to Wales, as successful tournaments then go right ahead, but I wouldn’t call them that.

      The injuries argument is fine in so far as it goes, but it doesn’t excuse the awful management over the campaign, which included poor selection, terrible tactics and inept use o the substitutes bench. If we felt Kidney was doing the best job with what he had, we’d have a bit more sympathy, but it’s hard to be convinced that’s the case.

      Similarly, the ‘blooding players’ argument just doesn’t stack up, as detailed by Amiga500 above. All Kidney’s 2009 warriors are either on the way down or have long since retired – of course some new players were going to have to be picked! Citing the likes of Tuohy, Henry, Marshall and Madigan is a bit rich for me – if anything, Kidney has been determined NOT to play those particular players. They only got in when all other options were exhausted!

      Finally, your last paragraph is just plain wrong. Our best performances rarely coincided with having all our players fit; they tended to occur on emotionally driven one-off occasions when the team had painted themselves into a corner through a series of abject results, and were rarely backed up. The game against Argentina was in the absence of all three of the greats you mention as being so pivotal.

      Clinging so steadfastly to an opinion in spite of mounting evidence shows admirable loyalty, but I’d have to ask whether it stems from the fact that Kidney delivered Munster two excellent Heineken Cups, rather than a cold, hard look at the facts.

      • I didn’t say I wanted Kidney to stay on at all stop misquoting me I’m just outlining some points to why Kidney might actually want to stay and why he hasn’t resigned ye just respond with the usual Munster drivel that constantly underpins your good writing.

    • montigol

       /  March 27, 2013

      You have to laugh at Ferris being “arguably” one of Ireland’s best five players ever. Ferris was a very good player in the injury-free spells he could manage but that kind of bizarre round-the-houses justification has all the hallmarks of Kidney himself.

      • Tommy, give it a rest, lad. We never misquoted you, and you didn’t ‘outline points why Kidney wanted to stay’, you outlined a bunch of excuses for why results have been so terrible. And we didn’t ‘respond with the usual Munster drivel’, we responded with a detailed critique of the points you made.

    • Anonymous

       /  March 28, 2013

      Total nonsince.

  7. Chogan (@Cillian_Hogan)

     /  March 27, 2013

    While Kidney should go in an honourable sense, he will have seen the difficulties EO’S has now in finding work. From a personal preservation standpoint Kidney should stay put, collect the last few cheques and spend the time sounding out employment opportunities elsewhere.

  8. Len

     /  March 27, 2013

    I totally agree with you. Kidney should know when his time is up and go on his terms rather than wait for an announcement from the IRFU. I’d love to believe that the rumour mill of Scrum.com could be believed and that Ewan McKenzie is a done deal as our next coach but I can’t. I still have a feeling of dread that Decci will manage to charm his way out of this with the IRFU citing the unprecedented injury list and the fact that he already knows the players and that he’s blooded new young players (albeit in the last six months). I won’t believe he’s actually gone until I hear/read the confirmation form him.

  9. dubya

     /  March 27, 2013

    It is good practice to ask the obvious question and WoC are the only ones asking it at the moment although many are talking around it.
    Kidney was quick enough to walk out on Leinster and the Dragons so I am frustrated at his intransigence now. He obviously believes that fate conspired against him and that if a team moulded by somebody else had never grown older he would live forever. Peter Pan syndrome.
    His “development” of talent is redolent of so many club coaches throwing in u20s for the last four or five matches of an AIL campaign when the writing is on the wall. Picking a bunch of young players is not development, it is merely a step on the way.
    He should have gone after NZ. The fact that he tolerated 0-60 and the flying of Paddy Wallace around the world from a family holiday at the beach belies an extremely low opinion of Irish rugby and what it is capable of. We do not need someone like that in charge of the national team. Good riddance.

  10. Michael

     /  March 27, 2013

    He should have resigned after the 60-0 to New Zealand (and i mean within about 10 mins of the final whistle). 6 nations seasons come and go. Some up and some down, but he managed us to the worst EVER defeat of the Irish team, and in the process left a stain on our record that will never be removed. In a professional era with all the resources at his disposal, an utterly shameful performance, and something that cant be forgotten.

    • Contraflow

       /  March 27, 2013

      Agree with Michael, he should have resigned or been fired after the 60-Zip disgrace in NZ. Ireland’s record loss.

      The reasons for keeping DK seem a bit spotty to me. He blooded new players? Mainly because he couldn’t pick his stalwarts due to injury, injury was our best selector BTW, Mike Ross is a classic example of that. Was that succession planning or was he just the only person left to pick?
      Why so many injuries, mainly because he flogged the same players relentlessly, using the same front row for the entire game against Scotland is an example of that.

      Irish rugby has never been stronger and it should be possible to develop 2 players for each position and create competition for places. However that means game time for inexperienced players on summer tours and autumn internationals, or you will never get 2 players and competition.

      Let Brian Cody of KK be our model; with the exception of Henry Shefflin [hurling’s BOD to those who don’t know] he was never a prison to any player in terms of form or injury because he always had another player breathing down the neck of an incumbent and if none existed he set about getting one by picking young players and letting them off.

  11. Contraflow

     /  March 27, 2013

    The media’s soft touch on DK is hard to fathom especially given the harsh coverage both EOS and Gatland received as they neared their ends. Goebbels Thornley carried out a jihad against EOS and is rumoured to have cheered the opposition tries in the press box during EOS’s last match. This was said by EOS in an interview though he didn’t mention GT by name. Other Journos shocked by the Irish Press Corps behaviour that day relayed the incident to EOS. Goebbels power puff coverage of DK is in stark contrast to the missiles he launched at EOS. If EOS had disgraced us 60-zip he would have been savaged by the press and rightly so.

    • Leinsterlion

       /  March 27, 2013

      Spot on, there has been no clamor for Kidders to get the chop, a few muted articles resigned to him “not getting his contract renewed”, followed by the same tired excuses outlined above. Kidney never reached the performance level we played at under EOS(who I did not rate) yet EOS got far more flack. Kidney is a provincial coach nothing more, he’s lived off the GS and his previous sucess with Munster.
      His clueless and annoying press conferences made me pine for the days of an EOS idiom. Its also telling that most Munster fans would rather endure Rob Penneys teething difficulties than have DK back playing ten man rugby.

  12. RDS Curva Nord

     /  March 27, 2013

    The parsimony of the union should not be underestimated. It may be cheap to re-hire Deccie, but cheaper still to hire Mike Ruddock. Or as suggested to me what about Philip Doyle?…he’d be cheaper again.
    Deccie is on 250k is that right? Contracted til July? 6N to July is 3 months, thats 6o grand! Whereas I agree it would be honourable to go, I wouldn’t give my employers 60k (I have no honour, your honour)

  13. red razors

     /  March 27, 2013

    Declan Kidney – if ever a man embodied the phrase “there but for the grace of god…” it’s him. I’m a little sick of the ad nauseum repetition that he brought us to the 2009 grand slam and so that forever justifies his place, but he’s done absolutely nothing to follow it up in the intervening time, and his recent results speak for themselves. He is an arch conservative, and I find him full of ways to explain how and why this last win got away from us. It was the referee, it was the weather, it was not enough time in training camp, it was the one-armed man. The one genuinely interesting thing to emerge from his coaching quarters in the last four years was the choke tackle, which was useful for about 5 minutes before everyone else got wind of what we were up to. He seems unable to see past his pre-conceived notions about many players [Madigan, ROG, Tomás O’Leary].
    I’m with Len on this though, I have The Fear about the IRFU being able to cut him loose for reals, but surely their sense of self-preservation is enough that they realise how it must go down?? Surely???

    As to Tommy Kennedy – a period of transition, that’s for sure. Transition from a pretty great team to one that just about got scraped off the bottom of the six nations table, thanks only to Tim Visser. Certainly all those players have won their first caps under Kidney, but apart from Zebo, which of them can you say were anything more than the outcome of a forced hand? The fact that Madigan even got to see the inside of the Stadio Olympico was a miracle. We shouldn’t be getting mere glimpses of quality play. The backbone of an international-standard team should be quality play, and lots of it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be fancy, but if your quality play is limited to glimpses, then there’s something very very wrong.

  14. solidalarry

     /  March 27, 2013

    You can cut the cake whichever way you like, but the aim should be clarity. January 1st, 2010 – either side of that day, Declan has had two Ireland careers.

    In the first, we had our greatest ever year. A Grand Slam, 10 wins and a draw from eleven matches. Outstanding stuff: no defeats in a calendar year is rare stuff for any side, not even the pesky All Blacks do it very often.

    Since then, it has been disappointing by the admission of all involved, we have enjoyed no short-term success (barring the odd good performance, but more about that later), have not built for the future at all (barring some selections-of-necessity in the past six months) and have – right now – slipped to our lowest EVER position in the official world rankings.

    Consider all that:
    – win rate of roughly 40% (absymal), failure in every tournament (World Cup semi was the target, remember, while the players said they were there to win the thing – fair enough, but that’s how it should then be judged; the less said about the past three Six Nations the better
    – Kidney’s selectorial failings are eye-popping and surely undeniable (though I’m sure someone will find a way), and only a fool would say he has built solid foundations for the future – however, in complete fairness to him, we did get into the second pot for the World Cup, which is the one goal in which he has succeeded
    – my view is that the one-in-five odd good performance is more damning than if we were crap all the time. As it stands, we do enough to show we have the potential to play some great rugby, and have the players to do so, and then hardly ever manage it; damning

    He’s been in charge for over four years, and we are in a much worse position now – in EVERY sense – than when he started. Any case for keeping him on is doomed to be laughable. I will be furious as a fan – a fan who cares – if he is kept on.

    • Indeed, there’s a legitimate argument that you can splice Deccie’s managerial career into two chunks either side of the iconic moment David Wallace was penalised for not releasing the tackler before jackaling over the ball in the home win against Wales. The players looked staggered as Wallace was penalised for what looked like a legitimate steal, but the decision was part of a new directive to ensure tacklers showed clear daylight between completing the tackle and playing the ball. With that change the dynamics of the breakdown changed irrerperably and Kidney’s preferred playing style – strangling the life out of teams – went out of mode overnight. He’s never really developed a cohesive gameplan since then.

  15. One thing I’m always a bit taken by is the argument that the IRFU might stick to Deccie because he’s cheap. Whatever about Kidney himself, he comes as part of a package and I’d be surprised if it’s that cheap. I was under the impression Gert Smal and Les Kiss had global reputations and would not have been hired on a shoestring budget.

    Anyone care to shed any light on this?

    • Michael

       /  March 27, 2013

      Can’t possibly be the case. The Sexton money is back in the pot (and possibly Ferris), I cant imagine they have had to fork out too much by way of bonus’s this year, and DK won’t be getting a payout.

      I’d say at this stage they can’t afford not to replace him. The way the team is heading, i can see empty seats in November again.

    • Another thing for the IRFU to consider is that cheap comes at a cost. Even aside from Michael’s point about empty seats, there’s the issue of prize money. From a quick search there, (non-slam) winners of the Six Nations get €4.5m, while bottom place gets about €1m. Filling in the gaps, that’s slightly more than €500,000 per place. So Deccie taking us to 5th this season, not 2nd, has cost the IRFU something like €2.5m. To prevent that happening again next year, if I were a blazer, I’d gladly pay €250,000 to end the contracts so that a new coach can use June to learn about his resources.

      • Seiko

         /  March 27, 2013

        Ronan, where do you think this new coach is going to pop up out of? Anyone you’d want is working.

        The so-called ‘honorable’ thing is to see out his contract. Nothing to be gained by walking out now. Unless there are plans to poach an international coach, every coach is up to their eyes coaching their clubs at the moment both in SH & NH and won’t be able to organise a coaching team to go to the US & Canada at this notice anyway. It would end up like a patched up affair of probably Bradley & Foley as I’m sure Kiss & Smal would want to walk as well.

        Now I’m sure quite a few who post here wouldn’t be too happy with that scenario …. do a decent job and Bradley & Foley could do a Lancaster on it.

      • God in heaven, let us pray that Michael Bradley is let nowhere near the Irish setup… He was found out at Connacht and found out at Edinburgh. He scraped by on a decent run in the HC last year, but Edinburgh were dire in the league last year, which everyone forgets…

        Deccie’s contract ends before the Canada/USA tour does it not? I thought it ended in May?

        We were always going to go on the NA tour with a makeshift/temporary coaching team. Of all those around I’d much rather see someone like Elwood or Ruddock take them than Bradley. Those two have proven they can take young guys forward. Axel can go as defence/forwards coach by all means but it’s too early for him to get the top job. He’s on the way but not yet.

        McKenzie or Deans are my shouts. Whoever doesn’t get the Aus job after the Lions tour will be Ireland’s next coach!

      • Ronan, thanks for those numbers, something we hadn’t even considered, and the numbers are vast in the context of a coach’s salary!

        Seiko, that’s nonsense in all fairness. It seems there’s nothing Kidney supporters love more than telling people there are no good coaches available. Whatever you make of the rumours regarding this MacKenzie fellow, he’s available and his credentials are compelling. That’s one contender straight off the bat.

        And to say there’s nothing to be gained by Kidney walking out is just as ridiculous. Do you really think it would be better for the tour to America to be headed up by a lame duck coach everyone on the tour knows is on his swansong?

    • abitofshoepie

       /  March 27, 2013

      A bit of searching on the internet and it suggests that Martin Johnson was on between £200k and £250k per annum, but the English rugby blazers were willing to splash out £500k on Mallett as his replacement when he was initially deemed to be the ideal choice. Lancaster got it and is believed to earn £300k to £350k. Obviously not a scientific survey, but indicates the step up in pay required to get an exotic or fashionable name. You then need to resettle them in Ireland with their family and bring in a support coaching team of their choice.

      Of course, if that new manager brings success, then they will bring in more than enough extra cash to justify it. On off the ball it was suggested that the the difference between second place and 5th in the 6 nations is 1.5m. I personally think it is a good bet that a new coach could improve our 6 nations standing by 2 places to justify the cost. And thats before we consider the important stuff, like actually enjoying watching the team play again!

      • Seiko

         /  March 28, 2013

        WOF – the obvious available coaches to take a tour to the US & Canada in June is Bradley, Foley or maybe Eddie O’Sullivan unless you are suggesting that this fellow MacKenzie is going to walk out on the Reds in the middle of the Super Rugby season and before the Lions tour is over to see if he is in with a shot to replace Deans? It is highly unlikely that Les Kis or Gert Small would be willing to fulfill their contracts bearing in mind that they are also part of Kidney’s coaching team.

        I’d credit the players to take advantage of any opportunity to get themselves in the frame for international selection – losing to Canada or US won’t be an option for them. Bradley, Foley, Ruddock or anyone else would be all lame ducks in that case unless they were going to get the job fulltime.

        It seems there’s there are a lot of Kidney haters who are clutching at straws if you think McKenzie is going to be interested in the Ireland job when there could be a chance to coach the Wallabies. It reminds me of the last time when more of the same people thought Pat Howard would jump at the chance to coach Ireland.

        Remember, act in haste, repent at leisure.

      • Leinsterlion

         /  March 28, 2013

        There a tonnes of coaches with a track record of playing successful expansive rugby on the market, something Bradley, Foley, Kidney and any other joke of a coach from Munster you’d care to cite, have failed to do.
        The least worst case scenario out of all the available options is John Mitchell, good spell with the chiefs, WC semi playing attractive rugby with NZ, Currie cup with a bad Lions team. His rep is dirt and he is a bit of a headcase, but he has assembled better sides then the Munster cohorts you champion. I’d rather see a nihilistic lunatic in charge than suffer more of Kidney, Kiss, Foley and anyone affiliated with that shambles of a setup.
        The likes of Galthie, Strawbridge, Kirwan, Schmidt, Cotter, Mallet ,off the top of my head, are all the frontrunners imo. All would jump at the chance the Irish gig is lucrative, has a good player base and a conveyer belt in the provinces.

  16. RDS Curva Nord

     /  March 27, 2013

    Red Adair, heroic oil fire extinguisher said “if you think it’s expensive hiring a professional, try hiring an amateur”. Hopefully the IRFU will see the long term game on this one…a top coach would put bums on seats and pay for himself ten times over

  17. conorphilpott95

     /  March 27, 2013

    The problem with mediocrity is the brilliant moments, such as those wins against Australia, Argentina and England overshadow the unbelievably awful ones. I speak of Scotland in 2010/13, Italy in 2013, England in 2012 and so on. I don’t see how anyone can justify Kidney staying. He gave us the slam but he has failed to adapt or change to the required level. Wish him the best when he does (do not want him back in Munster though!)

  18. Studs Up

     /  March 27, 2013

    Put simply, Kidney’s time is up. 5 years in the job is ample time to show what you can/cannot bring to the table and after, let’s face it, a great start to his tenure his team has failed to deliver consistently and is actually now more in free fall than in decline. I find it hard that even the most bullish of Munster fans cannot see this when presented with the cold hard facts. This is a results business and he hasn’t got them, blame what you will. The IRFU’s next move should be trying to convince Mrs J Schmidt that Ireland is still the place for her family to be brought up for the next 2 years at least.

    • Seiko

       /  March 27, 2013

      I’d say the IRFU are more interested in how Mrs Nacewa wanted back home … and quick. After all the hullabaloo in the press (& special case extensions) about these Irish kids not allowed stay in their country.

  19. Old prop

     /  March 27, 2013

    Seeing out his contract is good business. Anyone saying he should do the honourable thing and resign doesn’t live in the real world.
    Its the IRFU’s fault for not learning from the EOS debacle and giving an extension before a world cup. It’s a professional sport(with the exception of the IRFU blazers) and he had to live or die by the results. By the time of the world cup he was on a downward spiral to the 90’s and should not have had his contract renewed.
    Lets be realistic here. We are not going to get a top class coach unless they are going cheap for some reason or have not coached international and are looking for a stepping stone. The likes of White or Henry will not touch Ireland with a barge pole. The reason is they will not get full control and will have to sit through the friday meeting with Pa Whealan and the rest of the amateurs.

    • toro toro

       /  March 27, 2013

      Yes, it’s all the blazers fault, because cigars and brandy.

  20. Manga's League

     /  March 27, 2013

    The title kind of sucks you into thinking there might be a somewhat interesting element of analytical thinking or debate involved but no it’s just more of the same.

  21. part time punk

     /  March 28, 2013

    Funny you mentioned the political analogy. I was just thinking during the 6 nations that the whole story was like the dying days of the FF govt. in early 2011, when the Greens resigned and they divied up all the Departments and Ministers between themselves so the Minister for Health was also Minister for Education and Defence and so on. Total comedy of errors, sooner it’s over the better.

  22. Megweya

     /  March 31, 2013

    Where to start …
    Tommy K:
    “Fez, BOD & POC arguably 3 of our best 5 EVER players”
    So now pick 2 out of Kyle, O’Reilly, Gibson, Slattery & McBride?

    If that muddies the water, here’s a bucket of silt other than the usual headliners: Ray McCloughlin (3 Lions tests in ’66), Dick Milliken (4 Tests in ’74 for the undefeated Lions in SA – no 79th min or 6-second caps in those days) & the (namesake?) Fes-ter (Keith Wood, 5 Lions tests: 2 in a winning series in SA in 97 & 3 in Aus in 2001).

    Shades of the old joke about Ringo not being the best drummer in the Beatles …
    Impressive though Fez is, I’d take Slattery’s actual record in the back-row for Ireland/Lions over Fez’s potential if-not-for-the-injuries.
    While I greatly admire POC’s contribution to Ireland & the Lions over the last 10 years I’ll take the achievements of WJB over POC.
    And I’ll gladly open a case of Rioja to share with the people who would like to sit up late in the night to discuss the relative merits of Drico & CMH. It will be a long & enjoyable discussion – guile, gift, different eras / kindred souls.

    Moving on …
    as an Ireland rugby fan for 40 years my main gripe is that while Ireland has a small player-base/budgets compared to Eng/Fra/SA/NZ, over the last 8 years Wales have won THREE Grand Slams and 1 non-GS 6N (and the last after Ireland had clinically-dismantled the Welsh in the first 40min).
    So what is the magic ingredient that those Welsh teams had – better players? Not the case. Mike Phillips & a dozy touch-judge? More Irish injuries over 8 years? I would say a clear factor was better tactics & a better collective-attitude – both attributable to a better coach.
    Gatland was let go. He may not have had an all-time record sequence with Ireland, but he really did blood new players intentionally not because injuries & bad performances by obvious back-ups left him no option.
    Ruddock was the other Welsh GS coach – various comments (notably by Gareth Thomas) have been made to diminish Ruddock’s contribution but Ruddock’s achievements with the Ireland U20 team suggest he still has the tenacity & ability to be an international coach. Yes, Jake White & McKenzie have a Super-15 profile, but it might not work. England took the local option & it seems to be working well.

    Other points of note –
    the 60-0 humiliation in NZ:
    EITHER an outcome of the proportion of a 60-point deficit
    OR a zero-score
    would be enough to lose a head-coach their job in most high-level jobs. He more than compounded it by flying Paddy Wallace (not a widely-credible candidate though he had had some good recent form) at short-notice literally halfway-round the world off a beach (not an actve tour) when a credible centre (McFadden) was already there and Madigan should have been there for “development” alone.
    Akin not to just shooting yourself in the foot but using one barrel per foot & then beating yourself repeatedly over the head with the double-barrel of your shotgun.

    As pointed out by RDS Curva, to Deccie working out his contract is €60k (add in some backroom lieutenants that might rise to €100-120k) to pay off. But ALL international coaches complain about the lack of time with players – ask the new coach the value of going to USA/Canada with a large number of the regular Ireland squad.
    RDS Curva also cited Red Adair the oil-fire specialist “if you think it’s expensive hiring a professional, try hiring an amateur”.
    What is the cost of a missed opportunity?

    The point made by Seiko about all the good coaches already having attractive jobs is a good one – but that is always the case. The almost-CRIMINAL & certainly negligent aspect is that the IRFU have issued a contract with an over-long duration (ending 2 years after a RWC: 1 year would give some re-assurance to an incumbent but also give 3 years to an incomer if the incumbent managed an under-performing team at a RWC and failed to demonstrate clear remedial action AND improvement in the subsequent year). This is not an unexpected junction – it is a decision about whether to renew a contract (or terminate it 3 months early). To not have alternative candidates identified & approached would be the inaction of pathetically-passive overseers.

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