Thursday, 6 October 2011

An Interview with Declan Kidney (at Gunpoint)

Irish rugby coach Declan Kidney famously dislikes giving interviews but as we’re days away from Ireland’s quarter final battle against Wales I felt that it was my duty to my fellow fans to speak to him about his World Cup campaign. Luckily I was able to convince him to speak to me through a combination of flattery, bribery and kidnapping. Enjoy!


Me: Mr. Kidney. Welcome. I’m so pleased you agreed to do this. I know you’re not a great lover of being interviewed.

DK: Well, I couldn’t say no to a fan…especially one that didn't give me a choice. Can you please put the gun down?

Me: Soon, as long as you answer my questions.


Me: Now Declan. How worried are you about Saturday’s game against Wales? It’s widely considered that their young back line is one of the best in international rugby.

DK: We had some initial concerns about that but I believe that the fact that this game is being played here in New Zealand gives us a significant advantage over the Welsh.

Me: Because of the massive fan support that you have received so far over there?

DK: Well. That and the fact that New Zealand has 3 sheep for every one person. I expect that their team will be slightly sluggish from sheer sexual exhaustion. We're hoping to capitalise on that.
Pictured: Welsh Kryptonite


Me: Good plan. But since half your team is made up of Culchies is there not the danger that this statistic could become a double edged sword?

DK: I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about that at first but then I remembered that Stephen Ferris emits a pheromone that causes all livestock to instinctively panic and flee so I don’t think it will be a problem.

Me: Now I heard that this week you had a spot of embarrassment at one of the local tourist attractions?

DK: Yes, Some of the team went on a tour of the sets from Lord of the Rings during their free time. Unfortunately when the other tourists spotted Paul O'Connell and the rest of the pack they mistook them for Ents. There was a small amount of panic I believe.

Easy mistake to make.

Me: I understand that that wasn’t the only awkward incident that one of your players was involved in this World Cup campaign.

DK: Yes, well there was some small delay to our travels when a small group of locals started worshipping Brian O’Driscoll as a god.

Me: Really? I didn’t think the Maori people were still so superstitious.

DK: Maori? This was at Dublin airport! We were delayed on the tarmac for three hours because some idiot from Blackrock tried to sacrifice his first born child to BOD.

Me: Oh my god! I’d say that was very upsetting for Brian.

DK:  Not really. He told me that he’s used to it at this stage.

Me: Now Declan, the World Cup is a long campaign, how do you keep your players properly motivated throughout its entirety?

DK: Well it requires different approaches for different players. For instance I’ve told young Conor Murray that if we get to the semi final that I will rent out a stretch Hummer for his Debs.

Me: And that works?

DK: I promised him a copy of Gears of War 3 if we beat Australia and look what happened there.

Me: Now you’ve been relatively lucky with injuries throughout the tournament, with the obvious exceptions of Jerry Flannery and Rory Best. How is Rory by the way?

DK: He’s improving, but slowly. The physios are saying that he’s only at about 70% fitness at the moment and it shows. He only broke 3 scrum machines at yesterday’s training.

Me: Obviously I couldn’t finish this interview without asking you about Ireland’s Half Back situation. Is the competition between Sexton and O’Gara causing problems in the training camp?

DK: The two men are good friends really. The media has blown the whole rivalry between them out of proportion. They are always giving each other tips on kicking and during the Italy match I saw Johnny shouting encouragement to Ronan during his penalties.

Me: Did you actually hear what he was saying?

DK: Well… No. But I’m sure it was just some words of support.

Me: I have it on good authority that he was shouting ‘Miss! You Cork bastard!’

DK: Haha, oh that’s just probably one of the little pranks that they play on each other.

Me: Pranks? Such as?

DK: Oh you know. The usual harmless stuff, trick phone calls, cling film on toilets, rat poison in the Lucosaide.

Me: Rat Poison!? Jesus Christ! Was anyone hurt?

DK: No. Luckily Jamie Heaslip drank it by accident and he can only be killed by fire or decapitation.

Me: Well Declan, thanks again for agreeing to do this and know that we're all behind you on Saturday. Best of luck!

DK: Thanks very much. Can you take these handcuffs off now?




Read more rugby articles:
If Irish rugby profiles were more honest (and inaccurate)

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