Threat to future of Ireland coach Kidd

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The Independent Online
Rugby Union

Murray Kidd's future as Ireland's coach is in doubt. He has been summoned to a meeting by the Irish Rugby Football Union today in the wake of his side's 37-29 defeat by Italy at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

That upset was Ireland's sixth defeat in their last seven matches under the New Zealander, who was appointed the full-time coach 15 months ago.

The IRFU said the meeting was "to discuss matters relating to the performances and future preparation of the Irish team." Even the team manager and chairman of selectors, Pat Whelan, admitted after the debacle at the weekend that Ireland's play was "devoid of any concerted or discernible pattern".

Should Kidd be relieved of his post, the All Black Mike Brewer, who coaches the Blackrock College side in Dublin, could be a possible replacement, as could Dave Haslett, the coach of the Irish A team.

Swansea's financial problems have led to the club cancelling the contracts of eight of their players. Four of them, whose identities have not yet been revealed, will stay with the club but as amateurs, while one is discussing the situation with the team manager, Baden Evans.

The players who are looking elsewhere for their rugby are the former Neath and Dunvant scrum-half Chris McDonald, the lock Mark Evans and the Wales Under-21 threequarter Adam Palfrey. The other named player to have his contract terminated is the former South African rugby league international Gerald Williams.

The Scottish is to appoint full-time coaches for each of the four home districts. Bill Hogg, the SRU chief executive, said the posts would be advertised in the near future.