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Declan Kidney's Pros and Cons list ahead of crunch IRFU meeting

After almost five years at the helm, the Cork native may have coached his last Ireland game.

Consistency levels have been low since 2010.
Consistency levels have been low since 2010.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

FOLLOWING ON FROM Ireland’s worst Six [and Five] Nations campaign since 1998, head coach Declan Kidney will meet with IRFU officials.

The meeting, between Kidney and the union’s five-man National Team Review Group, is set to take place this afternoon.

Speaking after he witnessed his side fall to their first ever Six Nations defeat to Italy, on Saturday, the coach admitted that he would have to think about putting his name forward for a contract renewal.

He said, “I’d have to sit down and think about whether I want a new contract. These guys are a pleasure to work with but, beyond that, I’d have to sit back and think about it.”

Although no decision should be expected in the immediate aftermath of today’s confab, the former Munster coach may have the decision taken out of his hands.

To give clarity to today’s discussions, we have weighed up the Pros and Cons we expect to be thrashed out between Ireland’s top rugby brass.


  • In 2009, under his charge, Kidney and Ireland delivered the country’s first Grand Slam in 61 years.
  • Defeated the world champion Springboks at Croke Park in 2009.
  • Ireland defeated Australia, a Southern Hemisphere side, during the World Cup.


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Kidney salutes the fans at Eden Park following Ireland’s 15-6 win over Australia at the World Cup. (©INPHO/Billy Stickland)

  • An exciting brand of attacking rugby was unveiled in successive wins over Argentina and Wales.
  • Selection gambles over young players Conor Murray, Simon Zebo and Craig Gilroy paid off.
  • Came a Dan Carter drop goal away from a draw with the world champion All Blacks.
  • He has blooded a number of players that should benefit Irish rugby in the coming years.
  • Has the 100% backing of the whole squad, according to Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip.


  • Ireland blew a chance at qualifying for a World Cup semi-final when Kidney was tactically out-manouvred by Wales’ coach Warren Gatland.
  • The Irish scrum has been creaking ever since he took charge and overly reliant on Leinster’s Cian Healy and Mike Ross. Lineout has struggled this year.
  • The team never kicked on after the Grand Slam win, finishing second, third, third and fifth in the Six Nations.

Kidney reflects on his side’s 22-15 loss to Italy. (©INPHO/Billy Stickland)

  • The team has been guilty of second-half engine stalls for the past 18 months, costing them wins over South Africa, New Zealand and France.
  • Presided over Ireland’s biggest international defeat, a 60-0 humbling against New Zealand.
  • Man management issues: Called up Paddy Wallace from a Portuguese beach when Darren Cave was in New Zealand, admitted that he had not been in contact with any Premiership-based players this season, dropped Ronan O’Gara while Jonathan Sexton was extremely doubtful for the France game.
  • Consistency has been a major problem ever since the golden year of 2009. His team has failed to string big wins together.
  • Ireland are 9th in the world – their lowest position since IRB rankings were introduced.

Opinion: Ireland’s fall down to more than just injuries and ‘atrocious’ Kidney

About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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