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Wanna get Ahead, Get a Hat, A Munster Hat
3 March 2005, 8:32 pm
Wanna get Ahead, Get a Hat, A Munster Hat.

The news of Alan Gaffney s imminent departure to take up the role of an assistant coach to the Wallabies shows how involvement with Munster can be good for your CV. The last coach Munster had before Gaffney, Declan Kidney, was prised away to work with the national squad and now his successor, is coveted by the Australian national squad. In both cases it would have been impossible for either to turn down the offer but it must be hoped that Gaffney fares better than his predecessor. By all accounts Kidney, imposed by the IRFU, was clearly not wanted by Eddie O Sullivan and his tenure ended when he was offered some made-up position by IRFU, which surprise, surprise he turned down. (Wonder who ever got that job.) After that we had the ridiculous carry-on whereby he was ignored by Leinster, appointed club coach at Newport Gwent and then courted by Leinster. However it s his standing at national level that seems to have suffered the most. Widely regarded as a top notch coach, it seems he is now surplus to requirements. When the Irish side goes on their shopping junket to Japan Connacht supporters please note, plenty of money from the we-have-no-money IRFU for that, - they will be accompanied by Ulster coach Mark McCall and Michael Bradley (Connacht). When the Ireland A side prepare for the game against France they will be prepared by Bradley. Last time Ireland A won a Triple Crown, Kidney was coach. So it seems Kidney pays the price for turning down the role offered at the time of his early removal from the national set-up. Declining IRFU largesse simply isn t tolerated. But Gaffney will not suffer a similar fate. The Aussies are far too professional for that. Maybe not so much too professional, but certainly far too honourable. Therese Heffernan Galway.

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