Declan Kidney's time in charge of Ireland has come to an end
The Irish Rugby Football Union has announced that coach Declan Kidney will not be offered a new contract.
Last Updated: 03/04/13 9:22am
Kidney's current deal ends on June 30 but his role as coach of the senior side will cease with immediate effect.
The future of the 53-year-old coach has been the subject of speculation since Ireland's lacklustre RBS Six Nations campaign, which ended with them only narrowly avoiding the wooden spoon.
And the IRFU have released a statement which read: "The Irish Rugby Football Union will not be offering a new contract to Declan Kidney after his current agreement ends
"The decision was made following an in-depth review process, carried out by the IRFU's National Team Review Group."
IRFU CEO Philip Browne added: "We would like to sincerely thank Declan for his commitment to Irish rugby.
"His contribution and involvement across the spectrum of Irish rugby delivered under-age, Provincial, Grand Slam and Triple Crown success, and epitomises his passion, belief and commitment to the game.
"With a host of new and emerging talent at every level, we are confident of securing another world-class coach to work with this talented and ambitious group of players."
Having twice led Munster to Heineken Cup glory, Kidney was hired by Ireland in 2008 and made an immediate impact.
The Irish won all their matches in the Six Nations the following year to complete a first Grand Slam since 1948 and Kidney was named IRB Coach of the Year on 28 November.
However, Ireland have now slipped to ninth in the IRB rankings, their lowest ever position, having finished second-bottom of the Six Nations standings, with just a win and a draw to show for their efforts.
The Irish will tour North America in June and Kidney's defence coach Les Kiss has been named as the interim head coach for that trip, with Gert Smal and Anthony Foley set to act as his assistants.