Ireland and Kelly part ways
Head coach's five-year reign comes to an end
Last Updated: 16/03/11 8:16am
Kelly: Decade of service to RLI
Ireland have axed long-serving coach Andy Kelly as part of a major reshuffle ahead of the 2013 World Cup.
"Andy Kelly and his team leave behind a legacy of success that will prove invaluable to Rugby League Ireland in its efforts to grow and develop the game in Ireland."
RLI statement Quotes of the week
Kelly was integral to Ireland's success in the last World Cup, where they were within 80 minutes of the semi-finals in Australia before losing to Fiji in the last four eliminator.
But since reaching seventh in the world rankings, results have been dipped dramatically with non-appearances in both 2009 and 2010 European Cup finals and subsequently missing out on a place in this year's Four Nations Series.
RLI, who will advertise for a new coach, said in a statement: "RLI would like to recognise the hard work and success of the senior management team over the last 10 years.
"Andy Kelly and his team leave behind a legacy of success that will prove invaluable to Rugby League Ireland in its efforts to grow and develop the game in Ireland.
"The board owes a huge debt of gratitude to Andy and who were all instrumental in helping Andy produce those teams that were so successful in Australia and elsewhere."
Kelly's departure ends a decade of service to Ireland. He was assistant to Steve O'Neill for the 2000 World Cup and was also number two to Daryl Powell before taking over as head coach in 2006.
RLI said they opted to implement a new strategic development plan following a major review of both the domestic game and the senior national team.
The statement added: "The new strategic plan will see a unified coaching and operational strategy deployed at all levels of the game in Ireland.
"This will further assist the development of domestic Irish Rugby League players whilst ensuring that all representative teams are suitably prepared to deliver results on the national and international stage.
"Rugby League Ireland will, therefore, advertise the position of head coach with responsibility for all representative teams, for developing and delivering a coaches programme in Ireland and for developing and maintaining a performance pathway for domestic Irish players."
Ireland are in the same group as England, Australia and Fiji for the 2013 World Cup, with three teams to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Ireland A, under coach Alan Robinson, are currently in Philadelphia preparing for Saturday's St Patrick's day international against the United States.