IRFU to hire new scrum coach

Published Tuesday, 20 March 2012
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The Irish Rugby Football Union have moved quickly to address the problems that were evident in Saturday's Six Nations defeat by England.

IRFU to hire new scrum coach
Chris Robshaw of England controls the Ireland scrum (© Getty)

The sport's governing body have advertised for a high performance scrum coach - just two days after Ireland's scrum was demolished in the 30-9 defeat at Twickenham.

Nine penalties were conceded during the set-piece that exposed in the most excruciating way possible the lack of depth at tighthead.

Leinster tighthead prop Mike Ross had left the field with a neck injury sustained in the opening scrum and the arrival of Tom Court, who is more accomplished at loosehead, after half an hour hastened the disintegration in a humbling day for Irish rugby.

While the new scrum coach will work with under-age teams across the four provinces and have no involvement with the senior side, the timing of the advertisement is unfortunate.

The decision to create the post was made three months ago, but it has been publicised while memories of Saturday's Twickenham horror show remain fresh.

"Tom Court came on and went valiantly, but our balance was off," coach Declan Kidney said after the match.

"That was always on the cards because we have guys who don't have huge tighthead experience playing for Ireland at the moment.

"It's something we'll have to work on and bring more Irish guys through."

The problem facing Ireland is exacerbated by the fact that at Ulster and Munster, overseas players John Afoa and BJ Botha are the first choice tightheads.

Since winning the first of his 20 caps in 2009, Ross has stiffened a backpedalling scrum into a unit capable of holding its own, even against top opposition.

But his injury at Twickenham - probably the greatest contributing factor to the outcome - highlighted a problem that Kidney is all too aware of.

© UTV News
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