DUBLIN, IRELAND – On Tuesday we discussed the potential of Scotland bringing on John Kirwan to replace Andy Robinson, whom we felt would do well to take over Italy. Today, we’re shifting to where the grass is always greener, Ireland. Should the Emerald Isle be looking to replace Declan Kidney?
If you watched the Rugby World Cup, you saw two different Irish squads: A sloppy side that dropped balls and kicked foolishly against a courageous Team USA on 9/11 and a heroic, professionally methodical machine of a team that neutralized and upset Australia. There was also the up and down, yet exciting match against Wales, which was a match pitting “experience” against “youth” – and youth was served in a Welsh win. Overall, one could argue that Coach Kidney rallied his troops after their forgettable performance against the Americans and served up hopes that better days were ahead for Gang Green.
Then came the Six Nations. Losing to Wales was understandable. After all, the team was without Brian O’Driscoll and Roberts, North & Company were at a distinct advantage. The tie in Paris against Les Bleus was simultaneously satisfying and lacking. The game was Ireland’s to win – and they tied. That’s when the wheels came off the Paddy wagon, if you will. St. Patrick’s Day in London was the chance for Ireland to salvage their place in the 6N, save face and give their fans reason to believe in them. Yet, nobody gave Stuart Lancaster and England the script and the result was one of the worst days in Irish rugby.
So, if you’re the big boss at Irish Rugby Headquarters: Do you fire Declan Kidney? If so, should you consider John Kirwan as his replacement? If not Kirwan, who takes over? We look forward to your thoughts.