Kidney: I'm blessed London Irish gave me the chance to coach again

Kidney: I'm blessed London Irish gave me the chance to coach again

Picture: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

LONDON Irish officially unveiled Declan Kidney as their new technical director and the Corkman is delighted to be back in professional rugby.

Kidney has spent the past three years working as director of sport at UCC, but admits to missing the coaching side of the game.

“I’ve coached for 32 out of the last 37 years. I was out of it for different reasons and I was really blessed that London Irish gave me the opportunity to get back into it.”

Asked if he could ever envisage returning to Munster he laughed and said: “I’m just delighted to be back in the game. It’s like a fresh start and I’m really looking forward to this challenge.”

The 58-year-old former PBC teacher has certainly got a big task on his hands at London Irish, who look doomed to relegation as they sit 12 points adrift at the bottom of England’s Premiership, with just five games to go.

Kidney was a successful coach of the Irish schools side before leading the U19s to the FIRA World Cup in 1998, which led to his appointment as Munster head coach, before taking over as Ireland coach and leading them to the 2009 Grand Slam, a feat not repeated until Joe Schmidt’s side did it last week.

“Joe is an excellent coach and has done a really good job with the team,” he said.

“I think they’ve been fantastic, the best team by far in this year’s competition. We fully deserved to get the win and I’m delighted for them.”

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