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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 March 2008, 18:02 GMT
Reddan lauds 'excellent' Howard
Pat Howard
Howard played for Leicester and went on to coach them
Ireland scrum-half Eoin Reddan believes former Leicester boss Pat Howard would be an "excellent choice" to replace Eddie O'Sullivan as coach.

Howard is among the favourites for the vacancy after O'Sullivan's resignation.

"You only need look at what he's done at Leicester to see how talented he is," said Reddan.

"(Leicester and Ireland full-back) Geordan Murphy told me Pat's a good coach, a good guy and a great man manager with lots of fantastic ideas."

Howard, who quit the Tigers after guiding them to a Premiership and EDF Energy Cup double last season, is currently employed as the manager of the Australian Rugby Football Union's high performance unit.

The 34-year-old is reportedly poised to step down from the post in order to spend more time with his family but that is not stopping him being linked with the Ireland job.

606: DEBATE

The Wasps scrum-half has discussed Howard's qualities with his Ireland team-mate Murphy, who played under and alongside Howard at Welford Road.

"He almost took Leicester to the treble last year," said Reddan.

"He nearly pulled it off but we beat Leicester in the Heineken Cup final. To be in that position anyway was a major achievement."

Reddan, Ireland's first choice scrum-half since the World Cup, has urged the Irish Rugby Football Union to act decisively while making sure they appoint the best man for the job.

"The important thing is to get on with it. It would be great to get someone who is successful and who can take us forward," he said.

"That's what happened seven years ago with Eddie - he took us forward and now we need the same again.

"These are exciting times for Ireland. There's a chance for the IRFU to go out and get the best in the world, which they should do and will do.

Eddie will be remembered for the Triple Crowns but will also be remembered for what happened at the World Cup

Eoin Reddan

"We need a man who will really inspire and excite the players that we have and push Ireland to new levels."

Ireland won 50 of their 78 matches under O'Sullivan - a record which makes him the nation's most successful coach - and Reddan admires the impact he made.

But he also admits the 49-year-old's stewardship had run its natural cause.

"Eddie has resigned and you need to respect his decision," he said.

"He's a good, proud man and has brought Irish rugby a long way. He took us to the next level and you have to credit him for that.

"He will be remembered for the Triple Crowns but will also be remembered for what happened at the World Cup.

"That is tough because we were in such a tough group and the whole squad should share responsibility for that."



SEE ALSO
Eddie's dignified exit
20 Mar 08 |  Irish
O'Sullivan's career
20 Mar 08 |  Rugby Union


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