Kidd resigns as Irish coach


FOLLOWING a meeting with officers of the IRFU yesterday afternoon, Murray Kidd's tenure as coach to the Ireland side has come to an end.

Kidd's resigned after meeting officers of the IRFU in Dublin yesterday and his departure as coach was announced last night after a meeting that lasted over five hours.

Following the meeting the IRFU issued the following statement: "Mr Murray Kidd has resigned as coach to the Irish team.

Kidd said: "I am standing down with regret and offer every best wishes to the Irish team.

Bobby Deacy, president of the IRFU, said: "The resignation of Mr Kidd as Irish team coach has been accepted. I want to thank him for his contribution and efforts with the Irish team and I wish him well in the future".

"Mr Kidd resigned following a meeting with the IRFU president Bobby Deacy, and officers of the union, Eddie Coleman, chairman of the election sub-committee, John Lyons, IRFU honorary treasurer, and Philip Browne, secretary of the union."

Kidd had been asked to attend the meeting to discuss Ireland's performances this season and preparations for the International Championship match against France on Saturday week.

But that meeting with Kidd yesterday had come in the wake of a meeting last Sunday morning at which Ireland's dismal performance against Italy the previous day was discussed as well as the recurring defeats now being suffered by the national side.

The meeting on Sunday had been attended by union officers led by the president as well as the three members of the election subcommittee of the union, the body that selects the coach and selectors, Eddie Coleman, who is chairman, Noel Murphy and Syd Millar. The Ireland manager Pat Whelan also attended.

The indications following the meeting on Sunday were firm that the coach's tenure was over, although he stated subsequently that he did not intend to resign and expected to retain his position. Obviously he was given the option last night, after meeting the union officials, of resigning, and exercised that option.

No details of the severance terms were announced. His contract embraced a clause that the contract could be terminated with two months' notice either way. But it is likely that Kidd will receive a substantial sum from the union. His legal adviser was with him yesterday.

The IRFU did not say who will succeed Kidd as coach, but an announcement will be made today about the coaching arrangements for the match against France in Dublin on Saturday week, Ireland's first in the Five Nations' Championship.

Former All Black Mike Brewer has been assisting with the coaching of the Ireland forwards this season and may continue in that capacity. But it is likely that a backs coach will be brought in.

Kidd, a New Zealander, took over as coach in October 1995. He was Ireland's first full-time professional coach and the first nonnational to hold the position.