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Eddie O'Sullivan
Ireland
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Full name Eddie O'Sullivan
Born November 21, 1958, Youghal, County Cork
Current age 56 years 8 days
Major teams Ireland, United States of America
Profile

Eddie O'Sullivan is one of the most respected figures in Irish rugby, having enjoyed a successful seven-year spell at the helm of the national team.

The Corkonian played both rugby for Garryowen and Gaelic football for Mountbellew Moylough in his youth before starting his coaching career with Monivea RFC in Galway.

After being appointed as a rugby development officer with the IRFU, stints with Blackrock College, Buccaneers, Connacht and the Ireland Under-21s followed, O'Sullivan leading the latter side to a Triple Crown in 1996.

He then enjoyed the first of two spells with the US Eagles before linking up with Warren Gatland's Ireland as an assistant coach in 1999. When Gatland stepped down two years later, O'Sullivan was promptly named as his successor. This development led to a long-running feud between the pair, with Gatland accusing O'Sullivan of disloyalty.

Under O'Sullivan Ireland's fortunes improved dramatically. During his tenure, Ireland won three Triple Crowns (2004, 2006 and 2007) only to repeatedly miss out on overall Championship glory.

As it was, though, Ireland travelled to the 2007 World Cup in France as a hotly-fancied side. However, the campaign proved a disaster for not only the Irish but O'Sullivan.

Amidst claims of player unrest, Ireland turned in one disappointing performance after another and bowed out at the pool stages after defeats by France and Argentina and two laboured victories over Georgia and Namibia.

Ireland's humiliatingly early exit led to widespread calls for O'Sullivan's resignation, with the charge being that he had failed to get the most out of the country's 'Golden Generation'.

O'Sullivan, his positioned strengthened by having signed a new contract on the eve of the tournament, stood firm and refused to walk away.

However, after a disastrous Six Nations campaign the following spring in which Ireland won just two games and finished fourth (their worst Championship finish in a decade), O'Sullivan finally fell on his sword.

A lengthy spell out of the coaching arena followed before O'Sullivan was unveiled as the new US Eagles coach in March, 2009 and he is now set to take a side into a World Cup as a head coach for the third time following his two previous campaigns with Ireland.

Scrum Staff March 2010

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Sep 21, 2011
Eddie O'sullivan, head coach of US national rugby team at the World Cup rugby warm-up match against Japan
Eddie O'sullivan, head coach of US national rugby team at the World Cup rugby warm-up match against Japan
©  Getty Images
Aug 21, 2011
USA head coach Eddie O'Sullivan at the World Cup rugby warm-up match against Japan
USA head coach Eddie O'Sullivan at the World Cup rugby warm-up match against Japan
©  Getty Images
Jun 8, 2011
USA Eagles head coach Eddie O'Sullivan
USA Eagles head coach Eddie O'Sullivan
©  Getty Images
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