independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

New deal on the cards for Kidney if Ireland can put England to the sword

Rob Kearney, Brian O’Driscoll and Sean O’Brien take a break from training at Carton House yesterday

VICTORY for Ireland over England at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow will all but secure Declan Kidney a new contract – taking him and his staff to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The rewards for a win are staggering. Victory for either side will make them outright favourites to win the Six Nations championship and, possibly, a Grand Slam – which would be only the third in Ireland's history.

The Ireland head coach is out of contract at the end of the championship and, while he has not commented on the subject publicly, it is believed he is keen to remain in the role.

The humbling 60-0 loss against New Zealand during the summer certainly devalued his (and the team's) stock, but Ireland's victories over Argentina and Wales have improved his standing.

A win tomorrow would assure Kidney's future and the home team are perfectly placed to deliver for the coach.

They showed in last weekend's win that they have the attacking verve to trouble the most stringent of defences and the Herculean way their 14 men repelled repeated Welsh onslaughts in the second half was uplifting.

If, as flanker Sean O'Brien was quick to highlight, Ireland can control their discipline and limit the concession of 'soft' points to Owen Farrell's boot, then they are more than capable of scalping the invaders.

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