'It's a kick in the teeth' - Ireland star Jenny Murphy slams IRFU over part-time coach
Ireland star Jenny Murphy has hit out at the IRFU's decision to advertise the national women's coach job as a six-month, part-time position.
Tom Tierney resigned from the job in the aftermath of a disastrous home World Cup two months ago. The former international scrum-half had been the first full-time coach appointed for the women's team by the IRFU on a three-year deal.
That decision came on the back of steady progress for Irish women's rugby, with the senior team claiming Six Nations titles in 2013 and 2015 and a fourth-place finish at the 2014 World Cup.
Yesterday, the union confirmed that the position would revert to a part-time role and the new coach would be in situ for one Six Nations before their deal expires.
As leading rivals become increasingly professional in their outlook, Murphy spoke yesterday of her fear of Ireland being left behind.
"A kick in the teeth for players," she wrote on Twitter. "So much progress made by other nations and we take 5 steps backwards."
A Union spokesman defended its decision, saying: "The decision to return the coaching role to a part-time basis follows feedback from coaches the IRFU has spoken with, and a further decision on the nature of this role will be completed post the Six Nations."
Meanwhile, Munster's Simon Zebo has dropped a broad hint that he will turn down a lucrative move to Pau and remain with Munster.
"I'm still deciding what I'm going to do in terms of my family and future, it will probably take a bit of time," Zebo said. "Munster Rugby is the crème de la crème when it comes to club rugby and I'm very happy."