O’Sullivan ‘disappointed’ by Connacht rejection

Former Irish coach Eddie O’Sullivan has lashed out at the IRFU and Connacht for not giving him a chance to take over from Eric Elwood.

Ireland’s longest serving coach was told yesterday that following a meeting between IRFU and Connacht officials on Tuesday, he was not being called for an interview.

O’Sullivan, who led Ireland to three Triple Crowns and coached Connacht at the outset of the professional era, said he did not feel entitled to be appointed Connacht head coach Elwood’s successor, but felt his track record, which includes being head coach at three World Cups and an assistant at two more, should have been enough to see him called for an interview.

“I am very disappointed that I didn’t get called to interview. I thought it was reasonable to expect to sit down with them to discuss the vision I had for Connacht, especially given my background.

“It is extremely disappointing not to get that opportunity to lay out my vision for Connacht,” said O’Sullivan, who lives in Co. Galway and is now likely to concentrate on securing a coaching position abroad.

Connacht CEO Tom Sears said he would not comment on any of the individuals who had applied for the job or expressed an interest in it until the process was complete.

“It is a confidential process. The only person I will comment on will be the person we appoint to the position,” said Sears.

It is expected that the new Connacht coach will be named after Christmas with former Ospreys boss Sean Holley and current Clermont Auvergne backs coach Alex King believed to be front-runners for the vacancy.

Others being considered are believed to be former Auckland Blues coach Pat Lam and Tony Hanks, while Dan McFarland and Billy Millard, both part of Elwood’s management team, are also in contention.


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