O'Shea rules himself out of Ireland running
April 3, 2013
Conor O'Shea is adamant that he wants to stay at Harlequins © Getty Images
Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea has reiterated that he will "absolutely not" replace outgoing Ireland coach Declan Kidney while Saracens have also ruled out Mark McCall taking the post.
O'Shea led Harlequins to the 2012 Aviva Premiership title and was strongly linked with the Ireland post in the run up to Kidney's departure which was announced on Tuesday. But former Ireland international O'Shea, whose side play Munster on Sunday, is adamant that he is happy at Harlequins, as he originally said back in February, and insists that he wants to stay beyond 2014 when his current deal runs out.
"I am contracted to Harlequins until the end of the 2013-14 season. I will be honouring that commitment and, hopefully, continuing beyond it," O'Shea told the Evening Standard. "Of course with the fixtures this weekend there are lots of questions but I've made my position very clear."
Saracens boss McCall, who won 13 caps for Ireland, has also been mentioned as a possible successor to Kidney but his boss Edward Griffiths is adamant that they will keep hold of their man. Griffiths told the newspaper: "It is completely understandable that when jobs like this come up Mark's name is mentioned because he is one of the most successful coaches in Europe.
"However, just like the rest of our coaching staff, Mark recently signed a two-year extension and he remains totally committed to what we are doing at the club. We have not had any contact from the Irish RFU and our sole focus is the game with Ulster on Saturday."
The bookmakers' favourite to replace Kidney is currently Reds coach Ewen McKenzie. Ireland Under-20 boss Mike Ruddock, who guided Wales to the 2005 Grand Slam, is also reportedly in the mix alongside Leinster's Joe Schmidt.
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