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Galwey: Kidney is right man

DECLAN KIDNEY has received the backing of Munster and Kerry legend Mick Galwey as he attempts to salvage Ireland's season and lead them to the World Cup.

The ex-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.

"Declan is perfectly positioned to mould and guide a new team. He has done it before. Ireland now has to rebuild and for me there is no one better suited than Declan Kidney to facilitate that."


Sam's focus on Dragons

Sam Warburton has vowed to "bat off" British and Irish Lions business to concentrate on helping Wales stay in RBS Six Nations title contention.

Last season's Wales Grand Slam captain is expected to be on bench duty when Wales tackle Italy in Rome next Saturday.

A shoulder injury sidelined him for the 16-6 victory over France 10 days ago, with Wales' interim head coach Rob Howley then announcing an unchanged team for Italy less than 72 hours later.

Warburton's absence from the starting XV led some pundits to suggest his chances of making the Lions' Australia tour later this year have been dented as a result.

But the 24-year-old will not allow himself to be distracted by any Lions matters, especially during a Six Nations campaign.

"It's something I will just have to bat off," he said. "I have got enough on my plate at the moment.

"It (Lions selection) is going to be, for any player involved, a special moment. But no-one is mentioning the 'L word'."