After a five-year reign the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) have announced their decision to not renew head coach Declan Kidney’s contract.

His contract expires at the end of June and the coach will leave his position immediately.

In 2009 Kidney, from  Ballincollig, County Cork, led the triumphant team to a Grand Slam however this year they only finished fifth in the Six Nations tournament. Since the Grand Slam Ireland have won only 16, out of 40 Tests. Their performance at this years Six Nations has been the worst since they ended up with the Wooden Spoon in 1998.

A statement released by the IRFU they thanked him for his "unquestionable commitment, passion, professionalism and success he has delivered to Irish rugby".

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said “We would like to sincerely thank Declan for his commitment to Irish Rugby.

"With a host of new and emerging talent at every level, and despite the clear challenges ahead, we are confident of securing another world-class coach to work with this talented and ambitious group of players."

The decision was made following a review process carried out by the IRFU's National Team Review Group (NTRG). The group will now lead the search for a new coach.

Ireland’s rugby team is set to start a tour of the United States in Houston on June 8 and Canada and Toronto on June 15. They will be led by the interim coach Les Kiss, who will be assisted by Gert Smal and Anthony Foley, report the BBC.

Those being suggested as possible candidate to replace Kidney include the Ireland Under-20 coach Mike Ruddock, Conor O'Shea, currently at Harlequins, Saracens boss Mark McCall, interim boss Kiss and former South Africa coach Jake White, now in charge at the ACT Brumbies in Australia.

Irish rugby coach Declan Kidney dropped from rugby coach position after five-yearsGoogle Images