RBS Six Nations: Declan Kidney to decide if he continues as Ireland head coach in the coming weeks
Last Updated: 17/03/13 11:52am
Declan Kidney: Contract expires in the summer
Ireland coach Declan Kidney will consider his future over the coming weeks after Ireland caved to their first Six Nations defeat to Italy.
Kidney's team slumped to a 22-15 defeat at the Stadio Olimpico after wing Giovambattista Venditti burrowed over for the game's only try.
Luciano Orquera contributed 14 points with the boot and Gonzalo Garcia also landed a penalty while Ireland could muster just five penalties from Paddy Jackson.
Kidney's contract expires in the summer and both the coach and the Irish Rugby Union will have to decide whether they want to renew the deal.
"I said all along that I'd concentrate on each game as it came and that's all I've done today," Kidney said. "I wasn't thinking that this could be my last match as coach, all I was concentrating on was getting the win.
"I wanted to get a result out of today, we didn't manage to do that and we'll reflect on it over the coming days and weeks.
"I'd have to sit down and think about whether I want a new contract. These guys are a pleasure to work with, but beyond that I'd have to sit back and think about it."
While succumbing to Italy may spell the end of Kidney, it could also have been Brian O'Driscoll's last Ireland match with his future undecided beyond the summer.
O'Driscoll spent 10 minutes in the sin-bin for stamping and was fortunate to escape a red card for an offence that is sure to result in a suspension.
"Brian has had a strong Six Nations given everything that has been going on for him," Kidney said. "He was outstanding against Wales and had a good match against France. I thought he did well today too.
"He's earned the space and time to be able to make up his own mind. Players are the only ones who know when the time is right to go."