Ireland guaranteed they will be second seeds at the 2015 World Cup thanks to an emphatic 46-24 win over Argentina at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday – but coach Declan Kidney still doesn’t know what his future holds.
The Dublin win ensures Ireland will be in pool two for the World Cup draw in London next week.
But the IRFU have refused to make any comment on Kidney’s future as coach, with his contract set to terminate at the end of the 2013 Six Nations season in March.
Kidney himself won’t speculate on any new deal and instead described managing the Irish team as “manic” after a five star and seven try show against the Argies.
The Ireland coach said, “This team is not about one person -- me. It doesn’t matter if I’m around or not. The only thing that matters is that this team does well. That’s the only thing that has ever concerned me.
“This is a manic job, you have to be off your head to do it really. The highs and lows of it are just enormous. Take the South Africa defeat -- which part of the performance do you look at?
“Do you say we had a lot of injuries and disruption but we finished within four points of them, or do you say something else because we have lost?”
Kidney could have no complaints on Saturday as Ulster youngster Craig Gilroy capped his debut with a try as the Irish ran riot to record their biggest ever win over the Argentineans.
Jonathan Sexton and Tommy Bowe scored two tries each as Ireland finally ended a five game losing sequence in test rugby.
Hooker Richardt Strauss and full-back Simon Zebo also crossed the Argentinean line in a match Ireland dominated from start to finish.
The Ireland coach was delighted with the way his youngsters showed their worth over the course of the autumn internationals.
“Of the 32 we had in training this week we had 17 new guys compared to the World Cup. That’s a monumental turnover,” said Kidney.
“On the bench, we had three one-cappers. Four of the pack had 21 caps between them. Two or three years ago if you had 21 caps you were a novice.
“We’ll probably go from being no-hopers to having a chance now. But playing Wales in Wales with a 1:30 p.m. kick-off, we need to get out of the blocks faster that we’ve done for the last couple of years.
“A lot of it is luck. That comes after Heineken Cup Round Six and it’s usually carnage in the medical room on the Monday after that.”
Many expect Gilroy to push for a starting role when the Six Nations kicks-off in February, but the young winger is more interested in getting back into the Ulster team.
Gilroy said, “Who knows? I don’t really want to think that far ahead. I just want to enjoy this and go back to my province and keep my feet on the ground.
“I’ve only played one official game so it’s just a starting point. I’ve got to work extra hard. I have to get my Ulster place back before I worry about that.”
Ireland center Gordon D’Arcy paid tribute to the new look pack and to his Leinster out-half Sexton, who ran the game from the pocket.
D’Arcy said, “The tight five were superb. They’re absolutely shattered. I take my hat off to them because we had front-foot ball and that makes you world so much easier.
“It’s a very Irish thing not to tell people when they do stuff well but I was the first one over to those guys. I’ve huge admiration for what they did. “You might take Jonny for granted but we don’t, we’re absolutely blessed to have him. His selection of plays was first-class and he showed why he’s one of the best out-halves in the world. He controlled the game.”
Ireland forward Peter O’Mahony refused to point the finger at the Argentineans after allegations he was gouged during the game.
Irish players complained to the referee at the time but no action has yet been taken against any Argentinean with the matter now in the hands of the citing commissioner.
O’Mahony said, “That’s not for me to decide. It’s for other people. As far as I’m concerned, it’s nothing to do with me.”