MICK GALWEY has backed Declan Kidney to salvage Ireland's season and lead them to the World Cup.
The former Ireland second-row believes that his former Munster coach is perfectly suited to mould and guide the new generation through the minefields that lie ahead.
"This Championship is, I believe, far from over," said Galwey. "I think the last game between England and Wales could be a cracker, especially if England are going for a Grand Slam.
"Ireland were disappointing against England. There's no denying that. But the coach didn't drop those balls and the coach didn't make all those mistakes.
"The mistakes made by the players are ones they'll never make again. I believe Declan has done a good job and has been hugely unlucky this season."
Ireland play Scotland on Sunday and Galwey references the list of injuries with mounting disbelief.
"I can't ever remember being involved in an international fixture where five starters have been crocked. And when you add that number to those already missing it beggars belief," he said.
"Ireland are going to lose a number of senior players in the coming months. That's the natural evolution of rugby.
"Declan is perfectly positioned to mould and guide a new team. He has done it before. He has been in the background of everything positive in Munster and Irish rugby for the last number of years.
"His knowledge is phenomenal. And he has a fantastic team of coaches who the players clearly respect.
"Ireland now has to rebuild and for me there is no one better suited than Declan Kidney to facilitate that."