Kidney could choose new skipper

New Ireland coach Declan Kidney has indicated he may bring Brian O'Driscoll's four-year reign as captain to an end in a bid to help the Leinster star rediscover his best form. [more]

Kidney could choose new skipper

New Ireland coach Declan Kidney has indicated he may bring Brian O’Driscoll’s four-year reign as captain to an end in a bid to help the Leinster star rediscover his best form.

New Ireland coach Declan Kidney has indicated he may bring Brian O’Driscoll’s four-year reign as captain to an end in a bid to help the Leinster star rediscover his best form.

Kidney, who replaced Eddie O’Sullivan in May after guiding Munster to two Heineken Cup triumphs, has suggested that any change in the captaincy would be aimed at easing the burden on O’Driscoll.

"At the moment, I think it is important that he just gets a chance to concentrate on his own game-because he’s been shouldering things for the last five years," Kidney said.

"Come November we’ll take a good look at it and we’ll see how things are going."

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O’Driscoll, who succeeded Keith Wood as skipper in 2004, is considered to be one of the world’s best centres and has led Ireland to three Triple Crowns during his reign as captain.

However, the team’s failure to win a 6 Nations Championship, after finishing second on several occasions, and their poor showing at the 2007 Rugby World Cup has seen his leadership criticised in some quarters.

Possible candidates to replace O’Driscoll, should Kidney decide on a new captain, include Paul O’Connell and fly-half Ronan O’Gara.

However, at this stage Kidney has refused to confirm that he is definitely looking to appoint a new skipper.

"It wouldn’t be usual anyway to name a captain at the start of a coaching set-up. We’ll just see how things go and give him a chance to enjoy his rugby."

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