Declan Kidney looks dejected against Scotland
While no-one could have predicted how Ireland's Six Nations campaign would pan out after an indifferent autumn series, even the doom sayers would have struggled to have foreseen such a disastrous run of results.
Here are three low points from this championship.
Kidney's captaincy decision
Declan Kidney was also going to receive a certain amount of criticism for stripping one of Irish rugby's true greats of the armband. For many, it was a premature decision with Brian O'Driscoll still capable of producing match-winning performances - as he did at the Millennium Stadium - and very much the focal point of Kidney's side. Jamie Heaslip was tasked with stamping his authority on a squad which still contained his predecessor, which must have been challenging. Heaslip's honeymoon period was brief and the Leinster No8 experienced a dip in form - most notably in a 12-6 loss to England - while his decision-making was flawed at times. Perhaps that is to be expected as he gets to grips with the role. But the irony is Kidney claimed unburdening O'Driscoll would aid the centre's performance, but instead, it appeared to affect Heaslip's displays. Of course, it is easy to make judgements with the benefit of hindsight, but the Ireland head coach may have been better served waiting until after the championship before ringing such a big change.
- Sports & Recreation
- Declan Kidney
- Jamie Heaslip