An unprecedented glut of injuries to key players undoubtedly played a significant role in Ireland's disastrous Six Nation's campaign, and the team's three defeats were by relatively narrow margins.
Yet there can be no real excuse for losing to Scotland and Italy and throwing away a winning position against France.
Too often the team, even experienced players, seemed to have no real gameplan.
Declan Kidney knows that when a team under-performs, the coach is the man in the firing line. With seasoned players now reaching the end of the line, it is time for a fresh approach, with a new coach and greater emphasis on blooding new talent.