Posted by: Gerry | August 29, 2007

Talking Point – Eddie’s Contract Extension

I mentioned in the news round-up that Eddie O’Sullivan has had his contract extended until 2012.

Is this a good or a bad thing?

Eddie has been in charge since 2001, and has been blessed with the finest collection of players any Irish coach has ever had. Yet what has he to show for it? In the Six Nations, three Triple Crowns, five runners-up spots and two third place finishes. In the 2003 World Cup, we exited tamely at the hands of the French in the quarter final.

If we don’t win our group this time around (beating the French and the Argies in the process), we will suffer the same fate to the All Blacks in Cardiff. Or even worse, it could be Lens ’99 all over again, and we lose to both France and Argentina and come third. (In fact we could lose to just one of them, and still lose out on points.)

I’m saying nothing till this is over, but our absolute bottom line target for this World Cup is to win Group D, and then see off Scotland, or as it seems more likely now, Italy in the quarters. Anything beyond this would be a bonus. Anything less would show no progress from four years ago.

I think the IRFU made this decision prematurely. They should have waited till the World Cup was over and then looked at O’Sullivan’s contract. He’d have been in place till the end of the 2008 Six Nations anyway.

If the team does badly in this World Cup, it will look like a very foolish move.

What think you, fellow scribes?



  1. Well, it is a good thing in that there will be no uncertainties hanging over the squad. O’Sullivan can be secure and not have to worry about that.

    But as you say I’m not so sure it is a good thing to do it before the RWC, couldn’t they have waited?

  2. I totally agree. I think Eddie should finally walk the walk at this competition.

    For a year now he has been talking up Ireland’s prospects… Grand Slam favourites… World Cup contenders… Yet as you quite rightly point out, we have achieved very little. Very little in relation to the talent at our disposal at least.

    Furthermore, over the years I have had my doubts about Eddie’s stubborn attitude towards player selection… David Wallace wallowed in senseless exile from the squad for ages under Eddie. And what about Eddie’s latest folly? Isaac Boss over Eoin Reddan? Come on.

  3. I agree with the consensus. A little hasty by the IRFU. Although they still have the option of doing a “Gatland” and fire him at some point if the results aren’t matching up. If Ireland get dumped out of the World Cup I could see him under a lot of pressure already.

  4. […] the second, he discusses Eddie’s contract extension, with a similar opinion as was posited here yesterday – i.e. it’s […]

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