Conor O'Shea rejects Ireland talk
February 26, 2013
Conor O'Shea has no intentions of leaving Harlequins © PA Photos
Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea is adamant that he is happy at the Aviva Premiership club despite being linked with the Ireland job.
Current Irish coach Declan Kidney's contract runs out after the 2013 Six Nations and reports suggest that he is unlikely to have it renewed. Ireland have just one win from three in the Six Nations and fell to a 12-8 defeat to Scotland on Sunday despite having the majority of the possession and territory.
After that loss at Murrayfield, Kidney was asked about his future, but he deflected the question telling RTE: "I've always said that my role is all about getting ready for the next match. That's what it always has been and that's what it always will be."
Ireland fullback Rob Kearney came to Kidney's defence post-match saying that the players should be blamed for the team's failures on the field rather than the backroom staff.
"On a day like that when we had so much possession and created so much, the blame has to be on the players," Kearney said. "The coaches can't make that final pass for you or make that clinical decision. The players must take responsibility and must bear the brunt."
Despite Kearney's backing for Kidney, former Ireland fly-half Tony Ward said on Tuesday that he feels the former Munster coach's time in charge of Ireland should come to an end and he called for O'Shea to be given the job. "Conor would be my choice to take Ireland forward," Ward told the Guardian. "He has the track record, he trusts the people around him and he is Irish at a time when all our provinces are coached by New Zealanders.
But O'Shea is adamant that he is happy at the club and hopes to stay for a while longer. O'Shea told reporters on Tuesday: "I'm contracted to Harlequins until the end of the 2013-14 season. I will be honouring that commitment and hopefully continuing beyond it."
Other than O'Shea, Ireland Under-20 coach Mike Ruddock's name has also been mentioned as a possible successor to Kidney along with Leinster's Joe Schmidt.
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