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Keith Wood: Les Kiss news reaction and his France vs Ireland preview


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We're almost there now as Ireland and France prepare to clash in the Six Nations opener in Paris.

But just before Keith Wood joined us on Wednesday Night Rugby tonight, the news had filtered through that Ulster and their director of rugby Les Kiss had parted ways after some indifferent results this season.

One of the most interesting aspects was the fact that this has occurred mid-season.

Former Ireland captain Keith shared his thoughts with Dave and he feels it's a trend that bears similarity to soccer.

You can listen to the full chat with Keith as well as an interview with former France head coach Philippe Saint Andre on the podcast player: 

"I wasn't overly surprised. I think the sentiment up there is that it's been too much of a yo-yo for Ulster - it's been up and down," said Keith.

"They've had incredible performances and then followed by one's lacking in intensity, lacking in focus and it just seems as if the board up there have decided that enough is enough and they're going to move it on. 

"I don't like to see it in the middle of a season because these are guys who have families and it's a very tough decision to make and I think in many respects, rugby is becoming a little bit more like the Premiership in soccer where if results aren't quite up to scratch, coaches go very quickly."

Keith also turned his attention to the Six Nations opener against France and he liked to see a couple of surprises in the Irish team and discussed the potential of James Ryan being a wildcard to be involved prominently at second row, with speculation that he is poised to start. 

"I think we've seen from the Under-20s that this is a young man with a very, very long future of international rugby ahead of him. It isn't just because he's tall. He's big, he's capable and he's good in contact," said Keith but adding that his overall verdict is that he'll be better off the bench. 

He also wants to see other players shifting into a playmaking capacity to take the pressure of Johnny Sexton who tends to be targeted by the opposition.

Vodafone are Official sponsors of the Irish Rugby team. We all belong to a team of us.


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