Kidney to assess his options
Ireland coach Declan Kidney insisted he would consider his future over the coming weeks after Ireland slumped to their first RBS 6 Nations defeat by Italy.
The 22-15 loss at the Stadio Olimpico may well be deemed unacceptable by the Irish Rugby Football Union, who will soon decide whether to renew Kidney's contract when it expires in the summer.
"I said all along that I'd concentrate on each game as it came and that's all I've done," Kidney said. "I wasn't thinking that this could be my last match as coach, all I was concentrating on was getting the win. I wanted to get a result, we didn't manage to do that and we'll reflect on it over the coming days and weeks."
He added: "I'd have to sit down and think about whether I want a new contract. These guys are a pleasure to work with, but beyond that I'd have to sit back and think about it."
While succumbing to Italy may spell the end of Kidney, it could also have been Brian O'Driscoll's last Ireland match with his future undecided beyond the summer.
O'Driscoll spent 10 minutes in the sin-bin for stamping and was fortunate to escape a red card for an offence that is sure to result in a suspension.
"Brian has had a strong Six Nations given everything that has been going on for him," Kidney said.
"He was outstanding against Wales and had a good match against France. I thought he did well too.
"He's earned the space and time to be able to make up his own mind. Players are the only ones who know when the time is right to go."