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Keith Wood 'impressed' with interviewees for Ireland job

The former Ireland star described how he was called by the IRFU “out of the blue”.

Wood is part of the panel to select the next Ireland coach.
Wood is part of the panel to select the next Ireland coach.

KEITH WOOD HAS said he was “impressed” with the interviewees for the position of Ireland coach, explaining last night that “there were very good guys sitting in front of us”.

It was previously confirmed by TheScore.ie that Wood was part of the panel to select the Ireland boss, and the former Munster star admitted, in an interview with Newstalk’s Off the Ball, that he was surprised at the IRFU’s request, calling it “out of the blue”.

“I’ve been pretty critical of the IRFU over the last number of years,” he said. “I haven’t had a whole lot of conversations with them. I think I’ve spoken to them once in 10 years.”

He continued: “I got a call 10 days ago or so to see if I’d be interested in sitting on the panel, because I have been critical of some of the selection issues with it.

“I don’t think you can continually criticise it and then if you’re offered the chance to be involved in the process, say ‘no’.”

Wood also spoke of his pride at helping to choose the next Ireland coach.

“I thought it was an honour. It was a simple enough thing for me – I love rugby,” he said, though added: “It’s daunting, and it’s a big responsibility.”

Wood also described how he was determined the decision would be a unanimous one: “Whatever happened in the interview process, there had to be consensus in the end.”

He was unsurprisingly guarded while responding to the queries put to him, given that the process is ongoing, and explained how “it’s quite frustrating sitting here not being able to answer questions”.

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Paul Fennessy

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