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Exit looms for Irish Rugby coach Eddie O'Sullivan

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Irish Sports News Discussion:     Exit looms for Irish Rugby coach Eddie O'Sullivan

The Irish Rugby Football Union are to carry out a review of Ireland's performance in this year's RBS 6 Nations.
The speculation is that Eddie O'Sullivan's reign as Ireland coach is expected to end when the Irish rugby chiefs review a dismal Six Nations.
A statement released by the IRFU this afternoon failed to shed any light on O'Sullivan's immediate future - but the lack of support for their head coach in response to widespread calls for his removal was notable.
Philip Browne, the IRFU's chief executive, commiserated with disappointed Ireland fans.
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The Genesis Report that followed the World Cup debacle was based on an exhaustive interview process, yet none of its recommendations have been implemented.
Browne said: 'The IRFU shares in the disappointment with the outcome of this year's RBS Six Nations from an Irish perspective and will be undertaking a detailed review of our performance.
'Our objective in this, as always, will be to ensure the Irish team has in place the optimal structures to allow it to perform at the highest international levels in the future.'

The IRFU have been criticised for not terminating O'Sullivan's contract after Ireland had crashed out of the World Cup in humiliating fashion.
But justifiably the nation's most successful Test coach was given the Six Nations to prove what had seemed destined to be his finest hour was just an aberration.

O'Sullivan is adamant he retains the support of the players - and Ronan O'Gara, the Irish captain at Twickenham, glowered when the subject turned to his boss' future at the post-match press conference.
Whether that reflects his inner thoughts on O'Sullivan's ability to continue in the post is unknown, but the Munster fly-half was forthcoming in supporting his coach on Friday.
Ulster centre Andrew Trimble has also backed O'Sullivan by claiming the players and not management are to blame for the malaise.
'The players are behind Eddie 100%. Everyone's criticising Eddie, but it's not his fault we dropped balls against England,' he said.
'We had the correct gameplan for England - but whenever it looked like we were going to score a try or come close, we knocked the ball on.
'That's the players' fault, and we should be taking the responsibility for what has been happening.'

Eddie O'Sullivan
O'Sullivan was born in Youghal, County Cork, Ireland. After attending the Christian Brothers school in the town, he graduated from Thomond College, which a decade later became part of the University of Limerick.

O'Sullivan played for the famous Garryowen Football Club during the 1970s and 1980s, while teaching physical education, maths, and science in Mountbellow, County Galway. He started his coaching career at a minor club in Galway before being appointed as a rugby development officer with the IRFU. He followed this with spells coaching at Blackrock College, (first as assistant, then as head coach) Connacht and the Irish Under-21 side. The Under-21 side won the 1996 Triple Crown, beating Clive Woodward's England.
After failing to secure a high profile coaching position in Ireland, O'Sullivan moved to America to coach the US Eagles. He was then appointed as the assistant coach of the Irish national side in 1999, and in 2001 as the head coach following the departure of Warren Gatland.

Ireland career
Eddie O'Sullivan has been Ireland's most successful coach of the modern era. Ireland have won three triple crowns and risen as high as third in the world rankings.
After finishing third in his first Six Nations Championship in 2002, O'Sullivan's Ireland went on to achieve second place in 2003, only losing the Grand Slam in the final match against England. At the 2003 Rugby World Cup his team lost to France in the quarter finals after dropping Anthony Foley and subsequently losing to France.
Ireland again finished second in the 2004 Six Nations, losing the Grand Slam to France this time. After starting as many people's favourites for the 2005 championship, O'Sullivan's side slumped to third place with defeats by France and Wales. In the 2006 Championship only a poor first half performance against France cost O'Sullivan his first Championship and Grand Slam. In the 2007 Championship, a last-minute lapse in concentration in the game against France lost them that match, this time coming joint top on points (France lost to England), losing the championship on a count of points scored.

2007 World Cup Campaign
In August of 2007, O'Sullivan's contract with the IRFU was extended for a further four years, which means that he is contracted to be in charge of the Irish Rugby Team until 2012. Part of the terms of the contract allow him to leave the position temporarily to coach the 2009 Lions squad, were he to be offered that role. Since then he has been the subject of press criticism after a run of poor results. Ireland turned in poor performances in the opening matches of the World Cup against the lower rated Georgia and Namibia. They had previously also struggled in pre-tournament games against Italy, Scotland and Argentina. Criticisms have included a failure to inspire passion in the team and a failure to have developed any depth in the squad, which has been said to have caused complacency in the first team players. Many are now seeing the signing of his contract as a premature move, with an internet petition calling for his resignation after a poor start to the world cup. Ulster's Justin Harrison, an ex-Australia International, has been scathing of the IRFU's decision to sign O'Sullivan a new contract. He has also been criticised for his refusal to play Geordan Murphy, who has excelled in club games in England. Rumours have abounded of conflict in the Irish camp stemming from this, and even that Murphy might leave the squad as a result. The string of poor results continued with the failure of Ireland, for the first time in its history, to qualify for the knock-out stages of the World Cup, finishing 3rd in its Group with 2 wins and 2 losses.

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