Ireland

O'Shea out of Ireland race

Wed, 03 Apr 2013 14:42
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I will be honouring that commitment
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Harlequins Director of Rugby Conor O'Shea says he has no interest in succeeding Declan Kidney as head coach of Ireland.

Kidney left his role on Tuesday after the Irish Rugby Football Union elected not to extend his contract, which was due to expire on June 30.

Former Ireland fullback O'Shea was immediately linked with the vacancy, but he says he is committed to the task in hand at Harlequins.

"Absolutely not. I am contracted to Harlequins until the end of the 2013-14 season," O'Shea told the Evening Standard newspaper when asked about the reports.

"I will be honouring that commitment and, hopefully, continuing beyond it. Of course with the fixtures this weekend there are lots of questions, but I've made my position very clear."

O'Shea is currently preparing Harlequins for their European Cup quarter-final against Munster on Sunday.

Saracens head coach Mark McCall has also been mentioned in connection with the role, but the club's chief executive, Edwards Griffiths, said he was "totally committed" to the English Premiership side.

McCall recently signed a two-year contract with Saracens and Griffiths said the club had not been contacted by the IRFU.

Ewen McKenzie, who is due to step down as head coach of Australian club Queensland Reds at the end of the Super Rugby season, has been installed as the bookmakers' favourite to take over from Kidney.

Les Kiss, who was Ireland's defence coach under Kidney, will take charge of the side on a temporary basis for the games against the United States and Canada in North America in June.

Kidney led Ireland to Six Nations Grand Slam glory in 2008, but left after a disappointing performance in the most recent tournament saw Ireland finish fifth and drop to their lowest ever world ranking of ninth.

AFP

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