Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Horan defends Ireland comments

Alan Gaffney
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Stephen Ferris of Ireland celebrates victory after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies tackles Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Tim Horan is adamant that the source behind his claim of Irish subterfuge at Eden Park last Saturday is Ireland backs coach Alan Gaffney.

Wallaby great Horan alleged in a newspaper column that Gaffney informed him Ireland feigned injuries during the historic 15-6 victory over Australia. Ireland head coach Declan Kidney branded the allegations as "incredulous and slightly scandalous".

"After the game I went down, just outside the dressing rooms and onto the field and Alan Gaffney was there," Horan said on the Fox Sports Rugby World Cup Centre show in Australia. "I know Alan Gaffney very well, we were Wallabies selectors together. I had a great chat to him, applauding him for the tactics that they used. I thought they were wonderful tactics in the conditions."

He added: "I definitely spoke to him. Gaffney's a lovely bloke and I didn't want to drag him into this."

Speaking at Friday's team announcement, Kidney was furious that Gaffney had been implicated.

"What I can tell your for definite is that the reporter in question (Horan) was never in the dressing room," said Kidney. "The coach in question (Gaffney) never spoke to him, so I'll let you make your own inferences into how he feels he can quote something that was never said.

"It's incredulous and slightly scandalous that he'd try to bring one of his fellow countrymen into something that is totally untrue. It's for other people to have their standards in life."

Horan left no doubt over the source of his information in his column.

"Ireland had a deliberate plan to fake injuries each time there was a breakdown in play so they could slow the game down and frustrate the Wallabies," said Horan.

"How can I be sure? By talking to Irish assistant coach Alan Gaffney in the dressing rooms afterwards."

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