Thursday 14 December 2017

England would be well advised to give O'Donovan a call

GOOD to see Niall O'Donovan back in a tracksuit last weekend, taking charge of the Ireland 'A' forwards for their meeting with the England Saxons.

O'Donovan has been out of a regular coaching gig since his involvement with the senior Ireland set-up ended after the 2008 summer tour. The former Shannon No 8 has expressed interest in the forwards job with Connacht and it seems bizarre no-one has come in for him, given his credentials and a CV which includes three Triple Crowns with Ireland under Eddie O'Sullivan.

One forwards coaching position that could soon be opening up, depending on this weekend's result in Twickenham, is John Wells' role with England.

The former Leicester flanker has been the target of heavy criticism during England's struggles under Martin Johnson and the notion of an Irishman working within the England set-up is not as outlandish as it sounds, given Conor O'Shea's work with the RFU Academy and (more tenuously) former Ireland international Brian Smith's existing role as attack coach. HF

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