The IRFU announce the creation of a new role in the development of young Irish rugby players and which has been offered to Declan Kidney.
The Performance Manager - Age Grade Rugby is a critical new positionidentified by the Union for the development process of players in the age groups from school leaving to 21 years. The role is seen by the IRFU as a key driving force within the sub-professional level and the principal interface between the Rugby Department and the National Age-Grade pathwayand structures.
The Performance Manager - Age Grade Rugby is required to design, develop and implement plans, process, strategies and systems to ensure Ireland excels atAge Grade levels. i.e., under 18 Youth, under 18 Schools, under 19 Rugby World Cup and under 21, 6 Nations and Rugby World Cup. In addition, thePerformance Manager - Age Grade Rugby would also plan for the growthanddevelopment of qualified and successful indigenous coaches to focuson thespecific needs of National Age Grade rugby teams, in conjunction withtheNational Coach Development Manager.
Declan Kidney has previously coached the Ireland schools and theIrelandunder 19 teams, most notably the team Ireland that won the FIRA WorldCup in1998.
Irish team coach Eddie O'Sullivan has no plans at this present timeto fillthe position of assistant coach, currently held by Declan Kidney.
Philip Browne, Chief Executive, IRFU says: The new position we areofferingDeclan is a key role in the progression of the IRFU's High Performance
Declan would, of course, always be considered for any front linecoachingrole that might become available in Irish rugby and in which he wasinterested.
Declan Kidney says: While obviously disappointed by my currentcontract notbeing renewed, I appreciate the offer of this new position from theUnion.However, the offer in question is not a coaching position as such,thereforewhile considering it, I will now be looking at all options open tome. Inthe meantime, I will as usual be concentrating on fulfilling myobligationsto the best of my ability in the best interest of the team.