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Ireland rugby: Andy Farrell’s Lions sabbatical a chance to test new coach in Six Nations – IRFU

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell pictured during the Six Nations

Humphreys arrives at the IRFU at an interesting time. In addition to Farrell’s temporary departure next year, the men’s and women’s sevens teams are preparing for the Paris Olympics while the Ireland women’s 15s team have a World Cup in England to look forward next year.

The men’s team’s bid to finally end nearly 40 years of World Cup heartache ended in agony in Paris last year with defeat by the All Blacks, but Humphreys says he will “leave no stone unturned” while overseeing Ireland’s World Cup preparations during his tenure.

“It’s a question which has been posed since all of us as rugby players,” Humphreys said when asked what gives him confidence that Ireland will finally break through under his watch.

“I remember watching David Kirk playing at the World Cup in 1987. Since then, any of us who have come through, that’s been the aspiration.

“We all want to be part of an organisation of a team that wins the World Cup. We will be leaving no stone unturned in trying to do that.”

Humphreys added that Ireland could not have had “better preparation” for last year’s World Cup in France, in which they won all four Pool B games – including a 13-8 victory over eventual winners South Africa – before falling to New Zealand in the quarter-final.

“In the end, we lost to New Zealand by one score.

“We came in (to the tournament) 17 games unbeaten and we had very few injuries in the competition. So, to me, that’s not a negative. That’s sport. Of course we want to win it but the nature of sport is sometimes you just don’t win.”

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