The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
In his first season in the job, Kidney guided Ireland to their first Grand Slam in 61 years in 2009 but in the four subsequent Championships his side failed to reach those heights.
This season he was not helped by a raft of injuries as he was deprived of Stephen Ferris, Paul O’Connell and Tommy Bowe throughout while Simon Zebo, Jonathan Sexton and Gordon D’Arcy were unable to complete the tournament.
And as a result Hickie, who won 62 caps for Ireland between 1997 and 2007, believes it’s unfair to compare this year’s Championship side and the class of 2009.
“It will be a big challenge to see who they can get,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.
“Mark McCall is doing a very good job at Saracens. Joe Schmidt, the Leinster coach, would be a great public favourite. It's whether they can get a guy like him to commit to Ireland for four to five years.
“In recent years, certainly this year and even last year, there has been an horrific run of injuries.
“When Ireland won the Grand Slam they used 21 players and this year they used 36 and Ireland doesn't have 36 front-line international players.”
The IRFU have installed Les Kiss as the head of this summer’s tour to North America, accompanied by Gert Smal and Anthony Foley.