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Brian O'Conner has an article in today's Irish Times arguing that Irish rugby is the poorer for it's shabby sacking of Gatland many years ago. I have commented there as follows:

Gatland was a much younger, less experienced, coach when he coached Ireland twenty years ago and has learned and matured a lot since. He only had a 45% win ratio with Ireland which is a lot less than any coach since. (O'Sullivan 65%, Kidney 52%, Schmidt 71%).

That said, his sacking and replacement by Eddie O'Sullivan was a bit shabby, but no more so than Eddie O'Sullivan's treatment since he held the Ireland job. Eddie can't even get an interview for any job that comes up in Ireland.

O'Driscoll was the top 13 in that Lions squad and the fact that the Lions won the last Test without him is neither here nor there. It was the forward pack that won that game and either O'Driscoll or Davies could have done the job required of the no. 13 that day.

Gatland has kept the spat going over the years with his comments about Ireland players and so can hardly complain that he gets a bit of stick in return. It is a coach's lot to have to move on every few years and Gatland's career took off with the opportunities he got with Connacht and Ireland.

Many in Ireland will always have mixed feelings about being part of a British (and Irish) Lions squad which is basically a money making venture of little benefit to Irish rugby. Fair dues to Gatland for making a success of recent tours, and also for his track record with Wales despite the often chaotic relationship between the Welsh regions and Union.

But really Brian O'Connor is only milking a media created "fake news" hysteria. No one in Irish rugby much cares who the Welsh coach is - we just want to beat them! Another click-bait article from the Irish Times stable of rugby "experts" who don't really know or write much about rugby!

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 20th, 2018 at 01:34:18 PM EST

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