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'It would be very hard for the IRFU to justify not having a full-time coach if they're serious about it'

Eddie O’Sullivan joined Gavan Casey and Ryan Bailey on Close Calls to discuss the controversy surrounding the vacant women’s head coach job.

FORMER IRELAND HEAD coach Eddie O’Sullivan says it would be ‘very hard’ for the IRFU to justify not employing a full-time national head coach if the union are serious about women’s rugby.


The IRFU has come under severe criticism for its decision to seek a part-time successor to Tom Tierney, who stepped down from the role in the aftermath of Ireland’s disastrous World Cup campaign in August.

In a statement released today, the IRFU denied it has downgraded the role by looking to appoint an interim coach for the 2018 Six Nations, while also saying it ‘regrets any upset it has caused.’

Describing it as ‘bad week’ for the union and women’s rugby, O’Sullivan said the IRFU will now be forced into a serious rethink of their strategy going forward.

“The suspicion was that they were going to prioritise the sevens programme because of the Olympic dimension to it, which is a pity really. It was a bad World Cup but there’s no point in throwing the baby out with the bath water,” he said on today’s episode of Close Calls.

“They were using the women’s game as part of their pitch to get the World Cup in 2023 and that they’re part of the rugby community, but it didn’t look like that this week.

“Today’s announcement is actually a positive for women’s rugby, looking at the silver lining in the cloud here. They’re under pressure now in this review to come back with a very strong strategic plan for the women’s game and part of that now it would be very hard to justify not having a full-time coach if they’re serious about it.”

You can watch the full episode of Close Calls, where Eddie joins Gavan Casey and Ryan Bailey here: 


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IRFU denies it has downgraded women’s head coach role and ‘regrets any upset caused’

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