Warren Gatland Roasts Former Ireland Boss Eddie O’Sullivan With Hilarious Jab
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Much has been said over the years about Warren Gatland’s time as Ireland head coach with many believing the New Zealander has been bitter with the Irish all these years since over the nature of his departure.
But Gatland has finally come out to squash those rumours in an excellent interview with former Scotland lock Jim Hamilton for RugbyPass, thanking Ireland for the opportunity they gave him so early in his coaching career.
“I’m indebted to them for the opportunities,” Gatland said.
“I was coaching in Ireland at 34 years of age and it wasn’t a job you had any security about. I think I was the ninth coach in the 90s or something. Brian Ashton resigned and I got a phone call on the Sunday, ‘Am I prepared to coach Ireland for the remainder of the Five Nations?’
“Was I ready for it? No. But sometimes you get those opportunities in life and you don’t turn them down. I learned so much the four years that I was involved with Ireland. It was the grounding of those experiences that really made me such a better coach when I moved on.”
Ireland won 18 of their 38 matches in the four years Gatland was in charge but it that wasn’t enough to for him to earn a contract extension with Eddie O’Sullivan promoted from his backroom team to replace him.
And while Gatland has no “hard feelings” about being let go by the IRFU – he couldn’t resist pointing out that O’Sullivan’s coaching career hasn’t exactly gone anywhere since he was let go by Ireland.
Gatland meanwhile went onto become one of the greatest coaches in the world with Wasps, Wales and the British and Irish Lions.
“Look, it was tough when I was replaced by Eddie O’Sullivan,” Gatland said.
“I have always said that technically he was a good coach but I’d question some of his man-management skills.
“When I look back now, there has only been one winner in that debate. He’s not in coaching anymore and when he finished with Ireland he struggled in jobs and found it difficult to get coaching positions.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 18, 2020