New Ireland coach Joe Schmidt feels for predecessor Declan Kidney

Last Updated: 30/04/13 11:40am

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Declan Kidney: Ireland squad decimated by injuries

Declan Kidney: Ireland squad decimated by injuries

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Joe Schmidt admitted he had sympathy for predecessor Declan Kidney after agreeing to take over as head coach of Ireland.

The Leinster boss signed a three-year contract until 2016 to succeed Kidney, who was not retained after Ireland won only one match in the Six Nations and posted their worst finish for 14 years.

Schmidt conceded that Kidney faced an uphill battle to produced results after his squad was decimated by a succession of injuries over the last six months of his tenure.

"It's been the same at Leinster this season. If you have injuries you're compromised and have to fight your way through those periods," he said.

Expectations

"I certainly sympathise with the recent Irish performances and the results that didn't go their way can be mitigated by the number of key players who were missing.

"Look at the way Munster have recharged themselves recently following the return of key players. I hope that with Ireland we'll have less injuries and give the performances that will meet the expectations of our supporters."

Schmidt enjoyed success as backs coach for Clermont Auvergne before landing the top job at Leinster in 2010, and he guided the province to back-to-back Heineken Cup titles despite being initially uncomfortable in the role.

"When I came to Leinster in 2010 I didn't really want to be a head coach, but I've really enjoyed the experience since," he added.

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