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Page last updated at 20:02 GMT, Thursday, 17 April 2008 21:02 UK

Gatland backs Kidney for Ireland

Declan Kidney
Declan Kidney's Munster are in the Heineken Cup semi-finals

Warren Gatland believes Declan Kidney would be an ideal candidate to succeed Eddie O'Sullivan as Ireland coach.

The Irish RFU has been conducting a low-key search for a successor but the Wales coach is impressed by the Munster boss's credentials.

"Declan has done a huge job having won the Heineken Cup (with Munster)," Wales coach Gatland told Newstalk radio.

"That's a huge achievement and they've been consistent year after year. I think he could do a great job."

Former Ireland coach Gatland went on to describe Kidney's record as "fantastic".

O'Sullivan resigned from the Ireland job last month and while the names of a number of foreign candidates have emerged only to apparently disappear from the reckoning, Kidney continues to be strongly fancied for the post.

However, Munster's continuing participation in the Heineken Cup could delay the prospect of any early appointment.

Munster face Saracens in the semi-finals of the European competition on Sunday week.

see also
O'Sullivan's career
20 Mar 08 |  Rugby Union
Eddie's dignified exit
20 Mar 08 |  Irish
Who now for Ireland?
20 Mar 08 |  Rugby Union

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