Declan Kidney undecided on Ireland captain for autumn internationals

Declan Kidney says he may look beyond Munster's Paul O'Connell to captain Ireland in Brian O'Driscoll's absence this autumn

By Sportsbeat
paul o'connell
Paul O'Connell is a candidate to captain Ireland this Autumn Photo: e_mulvey, via Flickr

paul o'connell

Declan Kidney admits he may look beyond Paul O’Connell for his Ireland captain against South Africa on November 10, despite losing both Brian O’Driscoll and Rory Best for the autumn internationals.

First-choice captain O’Driscoll has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks with an ankle problem that requires surgery while Ulster hooker Best, who has captained Ireland on four occasions, has a neck injury.

Ordinarily O’Connell, who was captain in three of Ireland’s Six Nations matches earlier this year, would be the automatic choice to take the armband against the Springboks, but he has not been back from a knee injury long, and he has also struggled with a back problem of late.

And Kidney is reluctant to burden the 33-year-old with too much.

“It is a big blow to be down the two lads who have been captaining the side, along with Paul, over the last couple of years,” Kidney told the Irish Independent.

“That makes it all the more precious when he is around.

“Paul isn’t training and has his own niggles with his back. He was hoping to get some pitch time this weekend and that is not right for him too. Captain can be an onerous position, we’ll let him recover first and see what’s best for the person too.”

Should Kidney decide against appointing O’Connell as skipper, it would leave Leinster duo Jonathan Sexton and Jamie Heaslip as the leading candidates for the job.

© Sportsbeat 2012


MORE: The latest football news

MORE: The latest tennis news

BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge

BIOGRAPHY: Kepa Arrizabalaga

Laver Cup 2018
The Sport Review
Laver Cup 2018: Federer, Djokovic and fellow top-10s relish European defence – ‘We’re ready!’
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning house in Madrid
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
The Sport Review
Laver Cup 2018: Rivals Federer and Djokovic ‘thrilled and excited’ to join forces on opening day
The Sport Review
Paul Scholes: What I really think about Man United’s progress
The Sport Review
Maurizio Sarri reveals Eden Hazard decision ahead of West Ham v Chelsea FC