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Kidney And Ireland Up n Running

7th August 2008 By Munster Rugby

Kidney And Ireland Up n Running

New Ireland coach Declan Kidney’s first media conference attracted a large crowd to Jury’s Hotel on Cork’s Western Road where he stressed the importance of the upcoming autumn Internationals

Flanked by his team manager Paul McNaughton, forwards coach Gert Smal, defence coach Les Kiss and his most recent appointment, backs coach Alan Gaffney, Kidney pointed out that where Ireland stand after the games against Canada, Argentina and New Zealand, will have an effect on the draw for the next World Cup.

“Thats why November is more important than it has ever been this year in terms of the matches we play. There’s IRB ranking points (available) and wherever we stand at the end of those games is going to have an effect on the draw for the next World Cup. So how we go in the next three matches will have a three year effect.” said Kidney.

After the autumn tests Kidney’s stated aim for the RBS Six Nations is simply to win more matches than Ireland managed last year and in relation to the issue of who will captain the side, Kidney will decide at a later stage, “Brian (O’Driscoll) and myself have been talking about that and taking a look at things. Come November we’ll take a good look at it and see how things are. I think it’s important he gets a chance to concentrate on his own game. He’s been shouldering things for the last five years. We’ll see how things go.

“You don’t win three Triple Crowns and throw that away too easily. At the same time you want to give him a small bit of space. It wouldn’t be usual to name a captain at the start of a set-up.”

Kidney and his coaching team had 45 players in the Mardyke yesterday, a number that included Denis Leamy who is expected back from his keyhole shoulder surgery earlier than at first predicted and team manager, McNaughton confirmed that the proposed test between Ireland and South Africa scheduled for later this year in Dubai was almost certain not to go ahead.



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