Eddie O'Sullivan has made his choice for next Ireland coach
Former Ireland supremo Eddie O’Sullivan has had his say on who should replace Declan Kidney if the Cork man ever leaves Irish rugby's top job.
Just a few months ago, with the prospect of Declan Kidney getting the Lions job, much time and effort was spent pondering who would step in when Kidney was forced to step out.
Since then, Ireland had a less than stellar Six Nations, Warren Gatland got the Lions gig and Ireland’s relationship with Kidney looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
But Eddie O’Sullivan was asked yesterday to select who he would like to see replace Kidney, whenever that time comes, and for the week that is in it, his answer wasn’t that surprising; Joe Schmidt.
The Kiwi coach has built on the ground work put in by Michael Cheika at Leinster and he is now just one win away from back-to-back Heineken Cup successes. That record makes him the ideal candidate, according to O’Sullivan.
"I think Joe Schmidt would be the obvious choice at this moment in time, based on the job he's done. And he's hugely popular as well," said O'Sullivan in the Evening Herald.
"Given Leinster's ability to perform at the top end of the game, this season has been extraordinarily consistent for him. I still feel uncomfortable speculating on the next Irish coach because I was there myself and people used to speculate (about me). Declan is still there. He's doing a good job."
And while we appreciate Eddie’s reluctance to talk about a non-existent vacancy, Kidney has just 12 months left on his current deal, as does Schmidt on his with Leinster.
As we have seen recently across the water in rugby and soccer, transitioning between international managers and head coaches is not always a smooth process but you have to admit this is all lining up very well if the IRFU do decide for a change next year.