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Success for Joe Schmidt as Ireland coach?

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littlejohn
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Post by KiaRose Wed 15 Jan 2014, 6:31 pm

Something strange seems to be happening amongst the Irish supporters on here. Rather than the usual "Why has the coach chosen X instead of Y?" Or "Why is A still in the squad?" or "Why are there so few from my provincial team?" ... the discussion seems to centre on which of the players in the squad will be on the Wolfhounds team and which in the Ireland 6Ns team. One gets the impression of (almost) universal approval of the squad chosen.

So, I want to ask another question.

Over the period between now and the end of RWC15, what does Ireland under Joe Schmidt have to achieve for YOU to consider the appointment of Schmidt as head coach to have been a successful one?

Simple question. Your answer can be in terms of final table position in 6Ns; Triple Crowns; Champions of 6Ns; QF, SF, F or Winners of RWC15; clean sweep in AIs - whatever you want. How would YOU gauge his appointment a success?

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Post by Scratch Wed 15 Jan 2014, 6:44 pm

Schmidt is in a  very good position

Firstly he follows a very unpopular coach and unlike kidney he seems to have universal respect in rugby and he is very much still in the honey moon period

Also, he just very nearly caused a huge upset v NZ.

Pre RWC there is a point at which fans get on board with their teams as they know that the coach is there to stay and there is a goal to aim at.

Ireland are in a strong position, there is now confidence that they have someone steering the ship who knows what he is doing

His biggest challenge may be managing BOD though Gats has kind of opened the door to easing him out, retiring him will no doubt garner him unjustified wrath from irish fans.

I think Ireland will do well in the 6 Nations and can win, but even if they don't then there will be no real consequences for Schmidt.


Last edited by Scratch on Wed 15 Jan 2014, 6:47 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Notch Wed 15 Jan 2014, 6:45 pm

By the end of the RWC 2015-

In terms of results; great success will be this

1) Six Nations champions in either 2014 or 2015 (with or without the Slam)
2) Tour series victory over Argentina in summer 2014 (two test wins, or one test win and a draw)
3) Two wins over SANZAR opposition in the Autumn Internationals 2014
4) Rugby World Cup semi-final!

Moderate success will be;

1) Top Two/Three in both 2014 and 2015 Six Nations with positive win loss ratio (six wins out of ten minimum)
2) One test victory over Argentina in Summer 2014 and aggregate series win
3) At least one win over SANZAR opposition in the Autumn Internationals 2014
4) Rugby World Cup quarter-final

If he achieves everything in the great success category we'll be having banquets in his honour. If its a mix between the great success and moderate success he'll be feted as doing a good job. If he achieves only three or four of the criteria for moderate success we'll be happy to see him continue post-RWC but not be at all overwhelmed with his achievements- massive pressure to deliver. If he fails to achieve at least three of the moderate success criteria his position will not be secure post-RWC.

In terms of process;

1) Increase number of offloads made
2) Greatly decrease the amount of time it takes to clear the ruck and get the ball out
3) Increase the amount of time the ball is in play during our possession


Last edited by Notch on Wed 15 Jan 2014, 6:53 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Post by slane Wed 15 Jan 2014, 6:47 pm

1st 2nd in this years 6 nations/ or a Triple Crown (our last coach did it in his first 6 Nations and Joe IMO is a much better coach)

He needs get consistency out of Ireland

I wanted to see his Leinster style "Schmidt ball" as it's called implemented more, watch Ireland vs NZ for reference

At least 2 wins in this years AI's we play SA, Georgia and Australia (any 2 will do)  

SF of the RWC (by his own standards, Schmidt said recently he wanted to take Ireland to the RWC SF)


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Post by asoreleftshoulder Wed 15 Jan 2014, 7:12 pm

Scratch wrote:Schmidt is in a  very good position

Firstly he follows a very unpopular coach and unlike kidney he seems to have universal respect in rugby and he is very much still in the honey moon period

Also, he just very nearly caused a huge upset v NZ.

Pre RWC there is a point at which fans get on board with their teams as they know that the coach is there to stay and there is a goal to aim at.

Ireland are in a strong position, there is now confidence that they have someone steering the ship who knows what he is doing

His biggest challenge may be managing BOD though Gats has kind of opened the door to easing him out, retiring him will no doubt garner him unjustified wrath from irish fans.

I think Ireland will do well in the 6 Nations and can win, but even if they don't then there will be no real consequences for Schmidt.

I've sen this mentioned a few times,how does anyone who follows rugby not know that BoD is retiring at the end of this season,.Schmidt won't have to ease him out as he's going anyway.It was all over the rugby media when he announced his decision.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Wed 15 Jan 2014, 7:13 pm

Irish fans tend to agree on the extended squad that gets put together every year.  It is the last cut to the 6N squad that will throw up the arguments.

Even as  Leinster fan I'll freely admit his selections have been very Leinster centric.  No one he has called up has really let him down at all, and there are positive sounds in the camp. But I hope to see more of Schmidt's style seep down into the Munster/Ulster/Connacht provinces as players bring back snippets from training camps and individual players work on the specific areas that Joe wants them to improve in.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Wed 15 Jan 2014, 7:16 pm

Notch wrote:By the end of the RWC 2015-

In terms of results; great success will be this

1) Six Nations champions in either 2014 or 2015 (with or without the Slam)
2) Tour series victory over Argentina in summer 2014 (two test wins, or one test win and a draw)
3) Two wins over SANZAR opposition in the Autumn Internationals 2014
4) Rugby World Cup semi-final!


Moderate success will be;

1) Top Two/Three in both 2014 and 2015 Six Nations with positive win loss ratio (six wins out of ten minimum)
2) One test victory over Argentina in Summer 2014 and aggregate series win
3) At least one win over SANZAR opposition in the Autumn Internationals 2014
4) Rugby World Cup quarter-final

If he achieves everything in the great success category we'll be having banquets in his honour. If its a mix between the great success and moderate success he'll be feted as doing a good job. If he achieves only three or four of the criteria for moderate success we'll be happy to see him continue post-RWC but not be at all overwhelmed with his achievements- massive pressure to deliver. If he fails to achieve at least three of the moderate success criteria his position will not be secure post-RWC.

In terms of process;

1) Increase number of offloads made
2) Greatly decrease the amount of time it takes to clear the ruck and get the ball out
3) Increase the amount of time the ball is in play during our possession

I'd be aiming higher than that before I'd call him a great success.I'd want 1 Grand Slam,failing that 2 6N wins without the slam would do and a WC final as our group is set up for us to be well able to achieve that.I'd consider a WC semi as moderate success and a quarter final as failure.
Maybe I'm looking for too much but I think we have the players to do it.

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Post by Scratch Wed 15 Jan 2014, 7:33 pm

asoreleftshoulder wrote:
Scratch wrote:Schmidt is in a  very good position

Firstly he follows a very unpopular coach and unlike kidney he seems to have universal respect in rugby and he is very much still in the honey moon period

Also, he just very nearly caused a huge upset v NZ.

Pre RWC there is a point at which fans get on board with their teams as they know that the coach is there to stay and there is a goal to aim at.

Ireland are in a strong position, there is now confidence that they have someone steering the ship who knows what he is doing

His biggest challenge may be managing BOD though Gats has kind of opened the door to easing him out, retiring him will no doubt garner him unjustified wrath from irish fans.

I think Ireland will do well in the 6 Nations and can win, but even if they don't then there will be no real consequences for Schmidt.



I've sen this mentioned a few times,how does anyone who follows rugby not know that BoD is retiring at the end of this season,.Schmidt won't have to ease him out as he's going anyway.It was all over the rugby media when he announced his decision.

I see, so BOD should get picked whatever until he retires

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Post by profitius Wed 15 Jan 2014, 7:34 pm

Year 1

- For starters get Ireland playing good rugby. Not since midway through EOS' reign have we seen Ireland play good rugby.

- Consistency. I want Ireland to play more consistent.

- Grow the squad.

Year 2

- Start winning big games with a few noticeable scalps.

- Have one or two big wins against top opposition.

- A 6 nations win.

- A world cup semi final.

- Improve the squad further.



They're not impossible goals. Schmidt has the strongest ever Ireland squad as his disposal.
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Post by yappysnap Wed 15 Jan 2014, 7:38 pm

Notch wrote:By the end of the RWC 2015-

In terms of results; great success will be this

1) Six Nations champions in either 2014 or 2015 (with or without the Slam)
2) Tour series victory over Argentina in summer 2014 (two test wins, or one test win and a draw)
3) Two wins over SANZAR opposition in the Autumn Internationals 2014
4) Rugby World Cup semi-final!

I'm sorry but if Ireland don't win both their games in the summer against Argentina then there is a serious problem. Did you see how poor Argentina were last year? Two good high scoring wins should be demanded by the fans.

Who are you playing in the AI's? I'd say one win over either SA or Oz should be expected too.

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Post by Feckless Rogue Wed 15 Jan 2014, 7:51 pm

Every new coach has a honeymoon period. Especially when the last coach was so unpopular for so long. It won't last longer than a year or so.

It'll be interesting to see how we do this year.
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Post by Biltong Wed 15 Jan 2014, 7:56 pm

Looking at the Hc Ireland does have the players, their squads aren't too full of foreign players, so Schmidt if he selects wisely should achieve much greater success than Kidney.
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Post by rodders Wed 15 Jan 2014, 8:14 pm

KiaRose wrote:
Over the period between now and the end of RWC15, what does Ireland under Joe Schmidt have to achieve for YOU to consider the appointment of Schmidt as head coach to have been a successful one?

Simple question.  Your answer can be in terms of final table position in 6Ns; Triple Crowns; Champions of 6Ns; QF, SF, F or Winners of RWC15; clean sweep in AIs - whatever you want.  How would YOU gauge his appointment a success?

At least 1 6N title (GS is a bonus) and a RWC SF would be the targets for me - IRB top 6. Subjectively I'd be looking at the style of play, building of depth and introducing of young players but that's harder to quantify objectively.

A win over the ABs would be nice too ....  Smile 
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Post by wolfball Wed 15 Jan 2014, 8:31 pm

rodders wrote:
KiaRose wrote:
Over the period between now and the end of RWC15, what does Ireland under Joe Schmidt have to achieve for YOU to consider the appointment of Schmidt as head coach to have been a successful one?

Simple question.  Your answer can be in terms of final table position in 6Ns; Triple Crowns; Champions of 6Ns; QF, SF, F or Winners of RWC15; clean sweep in AIs - whatever you want.  How would YOU gauge his appointment a success?

At least 1 6N title (GS is a bonus) and a RWC SF would be the targets for me - IRB top 6. Subjectively I'd be looking at the style of play, building of depth and introducing of young players but that's harder to quantify objectively.

A win over the ABs would be nice too ....  Smile 

IRB top 3 is great success, IRB top 4-5 for moderate success. I am sticking to the rankings, as if we are that high it means we are winning consistently with 6 nations titles and excellent WC showing. A 6 nations title would be huge and essential. Not this year though.

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Post by rodders Wed 15 Jan 2014, 8:47 pm

No not this year - top 3 and 3 home wins minimum, anything beyond is a bonus. I think France are beatable at home but England at Twickenham probably a step too far.
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Post by Kingshu Wed 15 Jan 2014, 11:03 pm

Personally I think Ireland can win this years 6 nations. I thought this before the autumn internationals as well. In the professional era France have won the 6 nations following a lions tour. I think the Irish player rest periods will have a major boost to our chances this time as the Irish players got a longer break than the other home union players, add now that after the NZ game the Irish players will know they can compete with anyone instead of the usual believing they can.

Also its when the 44 man squad is cut to around 33 that you will see the arguments, with 44 players everyone with half a chance of making the squad is in.

To be a sucess he has said aim is for WC semi final I'd say that a fair aim.

Remember though that Scotland set the target of winning the WC and a grand slam before 2016, so maybe we're not being ambitious enough.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Wed 15 Jan 2014, 11:11 pm

Scratch wrote:
asoreleftshoulder wrote:
Scratch wrote:Schmidt is in a  very good position

Firstly he follows a very unpopular coach and unlike kidney he seems to have universal respect in rugby and he is very much still in the honey moon period

Also, he just very nearly caused a huge upset v NZ.

Pre RWC there is a point at which fans get on board with their teams as they know that the coach is there to stay and there is a goal to aim at.

Ireland are in a strong position, there is now confidence that they have someone steering the ship who knows what he is doing

His biggest challenge may be managing BOD though Gats has kind of opened the door to easing him out, retiring him will no doubt garner him unjustified wrath from irish fans.

I think Ireland will do well in the 6 Nations and can win, but even if they don't then there will be no real consequences for Schmidt.



I've sen this mentioned a few times,how does anyone who follows rugby not know that BoD is retiring at the end of this season,.Schmidt won't have to ease him out as he's going anyway.It was all over the rugby media when he announced his decision.

I see, so BOD should get picked whatever until he retires

That's not what I said,why don't you address what I said,BoD is retiring after the 6N so JS won't have to drop him.Why do people not understand this,it has been all over the media for at least a year.

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Post by Scratch Wed 15 Jan 2014, 11:23 pm

this is not that hard to grasp….he is still eligible to play now isn't he and he shouldn't be picked because he is not available for RWC 2015, IMO setting his own retirement at end of this season cornered Schmidt into playing him whatever. Gatland knows he is past it, most people who follow rugby do, but his vanity seems to outweigh Ireland's need to get a new centre combo pre RWC.

Got it?

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Post by Kingshu Wed 15 Jan 2014, 11:44 pm

I think scratch that your in the minority who think hes past it and should be dropped, everyone will agree he's not the player he was, but even now he's still the best 13 in Ireland, Cave is next best and even though I'm a fan of caves I think that a twilight BoD is still better.

Who would you drop Bod for?
Payne is the heir apparent, but will not qualify untill the autumn, so why drop him for say mcfadden who cant even oust him at club level?

If Panye was qualified I may agree that Bods position would be in danger but since he plays 13 better currently than anyone else why would you drop him?

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Post by KiaRose Thu 16 Jan 2014, 12:05 am

Kingshu wrote:I think scratch that your in the minority who think hes past it and should be dropped, everyone will agree he's not the player he was, but even now he's still the best 13 in Ireland, Cave is next best and even though I'm a fan of caves I think that a twilight BoD is still better.

Who would you drop Bod for?
Payne is the heir apparent, but will not qualify untill the autumn, so why drop him for say mcfadden who cant even oust him at club level?

If Panye was qualified I may agree that Bods position would be in danger but since he plays 13 better currently than anyone else why would you drop him?

Cave, Henshaw, anyone else who can wear the 13 shirt. Even if Payne is the heir apparent, we need one or two more competent internationally experienced 13s before the next WC. We will not get them by persevering with a man in the twiligt of his career who is nnow, really, a shadow of his former self.

I think BOD has emotionally blackmailed JS into keeping him in the squad.

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Post by Scratch Thu 16 Jan 2014, 3:45 am

KiaRose wrote:
Kingshu wrote:I think scratch that your in the minority who think hes past it and should be dropped, everyone will agree he's not the player he was, but even now he's still the best 13 in Ireland, Cave is next best and even though I'm a fan of caves I think that a twilight BoD is still better.

Who would you drop Bod for?
Payne is the heir apparent, but will not qualify untill the autumn, so why drop him for say mcfadden who cant even oust him at club level?

If Panye was qualified I may agree that Bods position would be in danger but since he plays 13 better currently than anyone else why would you drop him?

Cave, Henshaw, anyone else who can wear the 13 shirt.  Even if Payne is the heir apparent, we need one or two more competent internationally experienced 13s before the next WC.  We will not get them by persevering with a man in the twiligt of his career who is nnow, really, a shadow of his former self.

I think BOD has emotionally blackmailed JS into keeping him in the squad.

 thumbsup clap 

Go to the top of the class…..by blackmailing Schmidt he is holding Ireland's RWC campaign to ransom

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Post by rodders Thu 16 Jan 2014, 9:30 am

Kingshu wrote:Personally I think Ireland can win this years 6 nations.

Actually I agree... looking at the other sides Wales are the strongest on paper but are bound to be affected by the Lions tour and all the disarray with the regions. I'm not convinced by France at all.

England look the biggest threat to me - they have a massive pack, a top goal kicker and real pace in the backs.

If we can win 4 from 5 though then we are in with a shout but I think expectations need to be realistic, if we can win our home games and perform well away, then that's an acceptable return for this team.
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Post by GunsGerms Thu 16 Jan 2014, 10:05 am

KiaRose wrote:
Kingshu wrote:I think scratch that your in the minority who think hes past it and should be dropped, everyone will agree he's not the player he was, but even now he's still the best 13 in Ireland, Cave is next best and even though I'm a fan of caves I think that a twilight BoD is still better.

Who would you drop Bod for?
Payne is the heir apparent, but will not qualify untill the autumn, so why drop him for say mcfadden who cant even oust him at club level?

If Panye was qualified I may agree that Bods position would be in danger but since he plays 13 better currently than anyone else why would you drop him?

Cave, Henshaw, anyone else who can wear the 13 shirt.  Even if Payne is the heir apparent, we need one or two more competent internationally experienced 13s before the next WC.  We will not get them by persevering with a man in the twiligt of his career who is nnow, really, a shadow of his former self.

I think BOD has emotionally blackmailed JS into keeping him in the squad.

God what a load of nonsense. You would swear BOD was completely useless. Even if he isnt running the length of the pitch and scoring tries he is still a perfectly competent centre. There is no way JS would pick him if he wasnt good enough.

It never fails to amaze me the crap people talk about BOD. Even if Gatland did drop him for the last Lions test he still picked him for two tests. Does that not mean he is still one of the best centres around in the NH? Or did BOD "blackmail" Gatland too?

Yes his career is winding down and the end of the 6N is a good time to retire but why not use him while he is still around. At least with BOD he has given a definitive retirement date whereas with ROG it was much more difficult to plan for when he retired as he kept changing his mind.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 16 Jan 2014, 10:39 am

Agree with Guns utter nonsense especially when it seems at least, if not more likely, Schmidt asked BOD to stay given Payne unavailability and Henshaws youth

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Post by Sin é Thu 16 Jan 2014, 11:05 am

1. Schmidt seemed to have a hand in persuading BOD to stay on for another season.
2. Since its his last season, I'd say pretty much every person in Ireland wants to see him starting in his last 6 Nations.
3. I'd say the fact that it is his last 6Ns might be contributing to the fact that all 6Ns tickets have been sold out. I certainly know of some people who are sort of casual fans who are going to a game because it will be their last chance to see him play for Ireland.
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Post by GunsGerms Thu 16 Jan 2014, 11:16 am

Sin é wrote:1. Schmidt seemed to have a hand in persuading BOD to stay on for another season.
2. Since its his last season, I'd say pretty much every person in Ireland wants to see him starting in his last 6 Nations.
3. I'd say the fact that it is his last 6Ns might be contributing to the fact that all 6Ns tickets have been sold out. I certainly know of some people who are sort of casual fans who are going to a game because it will be their last chance to see him play for Ireland.

Well said Sin. Not that I agree in picking him just to sell tickets but conveniently our last home game is v Italy and it sold out in record time. If he doesnt play well enough he should be dropped. Knowing this is his swansong I can see him really putting his body on the line.

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Post by Golden Thu 16 Jan 2014, 1:01 pm

This is what I would be looking at for JS to be a success. Not in any order

Year 2014:

1. Win away to France
2. Replace BOD
3. Improve style of play
4. Improve consistency
5. Win Summer tour
6. Win 2/3 AIs

Year 2015

1.Top 2 6 nations finish
2. Top RWC Group
3. Semi-Final

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Post by Nachos Jones Thu 16 Jan 2014, 1:19 pm

Scratch wrote:Schmidt is in a  very good position

1 Firstly he follows a very unpopular coach and unlike kidney he seems to have universal respect in rugby and he is very much still in the honey moon period

2 Also, he just very nearly caused a huge upset v NZ.

Pre RWC there is a point at which fans get on board with their teams as they know that the coach is there to stay and there is a goal to aim at.

Ireland are in a strong position, there is now confidence that they have someone steering the ship who knows what he is doing

His biggest challenge may be managing BOD though Gats has kind of opened the door to easing him out, retiring him will no doubt garner him unjustified wrath from irish fans.

I think Ireland will do well in the 6 Nations and can win, but even if they don't then there will be no real consequences for Schmidt.

1. Kidney was a very popular coach who lost his way at the end but never forget he led Ireland to a GS and an undefeated season. Later results should not cloud peoples mind as to what Kidney achieved. Kidney was/is still a very respected coach in rugby.

2. One game, have you forgotten the other games in the AI's where Ireland were absolutely pish? Kidney put on a great game plan in the RWC which led Ireland to beat a very solid Aussie team.

I have great respect and belief in Schmidt leading Ireland but I am not going to get overly carried away by thinking that he is the be all to end all just yet.

As for the original question, for me I don't mind where Ireland finish in the next 6N or the one after, just as long as Ireland play some great rugby and if they do then the results will come.

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Post by rodders Thu 16 Jan 2014, 1:25 pm

Sin é wrote:1. Schmidt seemed to have a hand in persuading BOD to stay on for another season.
2. Since its his last season, I'd say pretty much every person in Ireland wants to see him starting in his last 6 Nations.
3. I'd say the fact that it is his last 6Ns might be contributing to the fact that all 6Ns tickets have been sold out. I certainly know of some people who are sort of casual fans who are going to a game because it will be their last chance to see him play for Ireland.

Apart from Keith Earls, Darren Cave and Robbie Henshaw I'd imagine....  Wink 
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Post by Nachos Jones Thu 16 Jan 2014, 1:27 pm

Kingshu wrote:I think scratch that your in the minority who think hes past it and should be dropped, everyone will agree he's not the player he was, but even now he's still the best 13 in Ireland, Cave is next best and even though I'm a fan of caves I think that a twilight BoD is still better.

Who would you drop Bod for?
Payne is the heir apparent, but will not qualify untill the autumn, so why drop him for say mcfadden who cant even oust him at club level?

If Panye was qualified I may agree that Bods position would be in danger but since he plays 13 better currently than anyone else why would you drop him?

Add me to that minority as well and the minority may become the majority soon. BOD is a legend of Irish rugby but he should not be picked if he is not the best option. Cave or Henshaw would be better options right now. Just because he is retiring does not mean that he should be guaranteed a position in the team. Every player has to earn their spot, no exception.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Thu 16 Jan 2014, 1:32 pm

KiaRose wrote:
Kingshu wrote:I think scratch that your in the minority who think hes past it and should be dropped, everyone will agree he's not the player he was, but even now he's still the best 13 in Ireland, Cave is next best and even though I'm a fan of caves I think that a twilight BoD is still better.

Who would you drop Bod for?
Payne is the heir apparent, but will not qualify untill the autumn, so why drop him for say mcfadden who cant even oust him at club level?

If Panye was qualified I may agree that Bods position would be in danger but since he plays 13 better currently than anyone else why would you drop him?

Cave, Henshaw, anyone else who can wear the 13 shirt.  Even if Payne is the heir apparent, we need one or two more competent internationally experienced 13s before the next WC.  We will not get them by persevering with a man in the twiligt of his career who is nnow, really, a shadow of his former self.

I think BOD has emotionally blackmailed JS into keeping him in the squad.

JS asked BoD to stay on,again this has been widely reported in the rugby media and how anyone with enough interest in the game to participate on a rugby forum doesn't know this is astonishing to me.You and Scratch are ill informed about the whole situation.

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Post by rodders Thu 16 Jan 2014, 1:34 pm

Cave and Henshaw might be playing marginally better week in week out just now but going into a 6N international I'd still rather have O'Driscoll on the pitch....but the gap is closer than what it was for sure.

BOD is making silly mistakes that he didn't in the past and is no longer the steadying influence he once was in midfield. Still if the chips were down I'd still rather have him in a tight, must win game.
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Post by slane Thu 16 Jan 2014, 1:37 pm

Nachos Jones wrote:
Scratch wrote:Schmidt is in a  very good position

1 Firstly he follows a very unpopular coach and unlike kidney he seems to have universal respect in rugby and he is very much still in the honey moon period

2 Also, he just very nearly caused a huge upset v NZ.

Pre RWC there is a point at which fans get on board with their teams as they know that the coach is there to stay and there is a goal to aim at.

Ireland are in a strong position, there is now confidence that they have someone steering the ship who knows what he is doing

His biggest challenge may be managing BOD though Gats has kind of opened the door to easing him out, retiring him will no doubt garner him unjustified wrath from irish fans.

I think Ireland will do well in the 6 Nations and can win, but even if they don't then there will be no real consequences for Schmidt.

1. Kidney was a very popular coach who lost his way at the end but never forget he led Ireland to a GS and an undefeated season. Later results should not cloud peoples mind as to what Kidney achieved. Kidney was/is still a very respected coach in rugby.

2. One game, have you forgotten the other games in the AI's where Ireland were absolutely pish? Kidney put on a great game plan in the RWC which led Ireland to beat a very solid Aussie team.

I have great respect and belief in Schmidt leading Ireland but I am not going to get overly carried away by thinking that he is the be all to end all just yet.

As for the original question, for me I don't mind where Ireland finish in the next 6N or the one after, just as long as Ireland play some great rugby and if they do then the results will come.

Really? Looking at the coach we have and some of the player we have now and will have (Payne) come this years AIs it would be a joke if we finished any lower than 3rd.

I agree, Kidney did a lot of good for Ireland and that should not be ignored but Schmidt is on another level, his attention to detail and ability to pick other team apart is verging on autistic. Granted we got it wrong against Australia but that was only his second game as Ireland coach IMO the turn around against NZ alone should tell you all you need to know about him in terms of motivating the players and getting the tactics right.

I do think this year 6 Nations might be too early to expect any more than a top 3 finish but next year I expect Ireland to go all the way with the likes of Payne and some the players we have coming through (and being a year more experienced) coaching team with more experience of the other teams, I think Ireland will win it but a lot will depend on how we go this year.

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Post by Nachos Jones Thu 16 Jan 2014, 1:38 pm

rodders wrote:Cave and Henshaw might be playing marginally better week in week out just now but going into a 6N international I'd still rather have O'Driscoll on the pitch....but the gap is closer than what it was for sure.

BOD is making silly mistakes that he didn't in the past and is no longer the steadying influence he once was in midfield. Still if the chips were down I'd still rather have him in a tight, must win game.

BOD's defence is leaving him, he is not as quick as he once was and he is now way too inconsistent. Cave and Henshaw are not playing marginally better, they are playing much better than him. Add to that, the fact that age has caught up with him and his body cant take the hits it used too I would only have him starting if either of the above two were injured.

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Post by Nachos Jones Thu 16 Jan 2014, 1:41 pm

Slane, all I am saying is that I don't mind where Ireland finish but if they play to their potential and some good rugby then the results will follow and success will come. All I am hoping for is consistency, something that Ireland has missed for several years.

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Post by slane Thu 16 Jan 2014, 3:20 pm

Nachos Jones wrote:Slane, all I am saying is that I don't mind where Ireland finish but if they play to their potential and some good rugby then the results will follow and success will come. All I am hoping for is consistency, something that Ireland has missed for several years.

I agree consistency has been our achilles heel for the last few years. And it is something that has annoyed me when you looking at some of the players we have had in their prime Wallace, BOD, ROG, POC, Ferris, Flannery ect... however, I believe Schmidt will have us playing like we did under EOS but with that edge Leinster had, think Leinster vs Northampton (the half-time turn around) and Leinster vs Claremont. I think we will start grinding out victory's whereas under Kidney it almost seemed like all or nothing, we either won and won big or we got beat well.

For me that was the most frustrating thing because I know we have the players to compete and win every game, i think the NZ match proved that. We now have more depth than we have ever had and some world class players Healy, Best, POC, SOB, Sexton, Payne (when he qualifies) and Kearney on his day under high ball is superb. So I think we can be optimistic and the future.

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Post by GunsGerms Thu 16 Jan 2014, 3:49 pm

Consistency has been a problem because due to a greater emphasis on collisions there are more injuries all the time. Countries such as Ireland and Australia with a smaller amount of pro teams and player base have suffered.

This is why despite widespread criticism the IRFU took measures to put quotas on foreign players in certain positions and focused on developing homegrown talent in certain positions such as tighthead. As a result we have at least three first class tighthead props such as Ross, Moore and Archer etc. In fairness the sucession rules werent enforced but the idea was good and in general there seems to have been an increase in Irish/IQ players in each position and more though around the foreign players brought in.

I think this will pay dividends and we will see our consistency improve. We probably have the biggest pool of international class players ever in the history of Irish rugby.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Thu 16 Jan 2014, 6:38 pm

I'm amazed that people are thinking that Joe will be sentimental and play BOD if he isn't the best option for that test and that gameplan.  The guy is one of the most brutally direct and honest assessors in the game.  No one will get a free ride under Joe.

You can see that BOD is aging more and more. But only a couple of weeks back Leinster hosted Ulster in the RDS and the Ulster combo (who were they) got completely owned by the Leinster combo (who were they).  That was the perfect time for Cave to put his name front and (outside) centre.

Same goes for Henshaw a few weeks back as well, directly up against BOD, there were no 'miles' between the two in that game either.

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Post by slane Thu 16 Jan 2014, 7:01 pm

thebandwagonsociety wrote:I'm amazed that people are thinking that Joe will be sentimental and play BOD if he isn't the best option for that test and that gameplan.  The guy is one of the most brutally direct and honest assessors in the game.  No one will get a free ride under Joe.

You can see that BOD is aging more and more. But only a couple of weeks back Leinster hosted Ulster in the RDS and the Ulster combo (who were they) got completely owned by the Leinster combo (who were they).  That was the perfect time for Cave to put his name front and (outside) centre.

Same goes for Henshaw a few weeks back as well, directly up against BOD, there were no 'miles' between the two in that game either.

What I can't believe is that people think BOD is past it, he made a try saving tackle just last Sunday and was the best player on the field by a mile against Northampton at Franklin Gardens.

Fair enough he's no longer in his prime and he's a bit slower and lighter than what he was in 2009 but he plays a smarter game now.

I wish Cave would step up because he is a younger player and would add some much need depth at 13, still BOD is a better option

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Post by slane Thu 16 Jan 2014, 7:03 pm

GunsGerms wrote:Consistency has been a problem because due to a greater emphasis on collisions there are more injuries all the time. Countries such as Ireland and Australia with a smaller amount of pro teams and player base have suffered.

This is why despite widespread criticism the IRFU took measures to put quotas on foreign players in certain positions and focused on developing homegrown talent in certain positions such as tighthead. As a result we have at least three first class tighthead props such as Ross, Moore and Archer etc. In fairness the sucession rules werent enforced but the idea was good and in general there seems to have been an increase in Irish/IQ players in each position and more though around the foreign players brought in.

I think this will pay dividends and we will see our consistency improve. We probably have the biggest pool of international class players ever in the history of Irish rugby.

Speaking of tighthead props, what Rodney Ah You like?

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Post by Golden Thu 16 Jan 2014, 7:23 pm

thebandwagonsociety wrote:I'm amazed that people are thinking that Joe will be sentimental and play BOD if he isn't the best option for that test and that gameplan.  The guy is one of the most brutally direct and honest assessors in the game.  No one will get a free ride under Joe.

You can see that BOD is aging more and more. But only a couple of weeks back Leinster hosted Ulster in the RDS and the Ulster combo (who were they) got completely owned by the Leinster combo (who were they).  That was the perfect time for Cave to put his name front and (outside) centre.

Same goes for Henshaw a few weeks back as well, directly up against BOD, there were no 'miles' between the two in that game either.

Ah now BOD was quite poor against Connacht. Henshaw definitely came out of that game better.

Having said that BODs still first choice for Ireland

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Post by rodders Thu 16 Jan 2014, 9:16 pm

Henshaw played BOD off the park in that game. In fairness to Cave he has been consistently a very good player for Ulster, I'm just not sure he has that extra level but you don't know until he gets a run.

BOD is playing a lot more games this year than the previous 2 ... obviously he doesn't have a summer tour to stay fresh for and wants to savour every moment. I think this is exposing a growing inconsistency in his game and inability to turn it on week in week out. Its the mental deficiencies which have surprised me recently - normally he is one step ahead but his judgement in defence and attack have been really poor at times.

That said he was superb against Saints and I still believe he'll roll back the year in the 6N, and if he does then he's still better than anyone else.
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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Fri 17 Jan 2014, 7:41 am

Golden wrote:This is what I would be looking at for JS to be a success. Not in any order

Year 2014:

1. Win away to France
2. Replace BOD
3. Improve style of play
4. Improve consistency
5. Win Summer tour
6. Win 2/3 AIs

Year 2015

1.Top 2 6 nations finish
2. Top RWC Group
3. Semi-Final

This is what I agree with most of all the expectations. OK I think numbers 3 and 4 are particularly important in 2014. If we can better those two points wins will start happening the way they do for Leinster/Munster/Ulster who win even when they really don't deserve to at times.

On BOD...

He is seriously inconsistent now. Great game in Northampton but a truly shocking one against Connacht being just two examples. He has shown that he can still break the line and be a threat but he has also shown that his defensive reads aren't as good. He has jumped the line a lot this season and got done on it. On top of that he does give away a fair few kilos on guys who run straight at him and a fair few metres on guys who will step away on his outside. I am worried for our defense in this 6Nations for this reason. Finally his kicking game which was a strength of his last season has gotten quite shabby.

That being said we know how he ups his game in those big occasions, this is his last 6Nations, his last time playing in Dublin, his last time to beat England and France. He will have big games. He will leave nothing out there, he will do his impression of being Jesus and he will do it well. It is not quantifiable but we all know that he does this. He raises the game at these times and shocks us and others.

Finally, I do think we need to introduce another 13 as we need more than just Payne here. This should NOT be Darren Cave. He is a more than good club player and even at HCup level does produce the goods. However, after being one of his fans over the last number of years and appreciating his intelligent play and good basic skills I have to say that he does not appear to have what it takes to go up to the next level. I know he has not been given many chances but he does not shine for Ulster the way he would need to in my books. I think Henshaw has had a great season so far at 13, has the physical attributes we want, has a good rugby brain that is still being moulded and educated. I think he is out man.

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Post by Scratch Fri 17 Jan 2014, 7:48 am

Well $%^& me…what you are effectively saying is BOD is bigger than Ireland.

Serious question…is BOD the best 13 Ireland have who will be available for 2015 or is that even a consideration at this point.


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Post by Nachos Jones Fri 17 Jan 2014, 8:15 am

Scratch wrote:Well $%^& me…what you are effectively saying is BOD is bigger than Ireland.

Serious question…is BOD the best 13 Ireland have who will be available for 2015 or is that even a consideration at this point.


Scratch, BOD will be internationally retired in 2015. He would be retired now I believe if Schmidt didn't ask him to stay on for one more year.

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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Fri 17 Jan 2014, 8:25 am

Scratch wrote:Well $%^& me…what you are effectively saying is BOD is bigger than Ireland.

Serious question…is BOD the best 13 Ireland have who will be available for 2015 or is that even a consideration at this point.


Not quite what I was saying. Apologies if I wasn't really clear, hard one to describe.

I don't think he is anywhere near as good as he was and he isn't playing well IMO. henshaw must be very close to passing him out.

That being said, I believe in his last 6Nations he will play better than Henshaw would.

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Post by Notch Fri 17 Jan 2014, 8:33 am

Scratch wrote:this is not that hard to grasp….he is still eligible to play now isn't he and he shouldn't be picked because he is not available for RWC 2015, IMO setting his own retirement at end of this season cornered Schmidt into playing him whatever. Gatland knows he is past it, most people who follow rugby do, but his vanity seems to outweigh Ireland's need to get a new centre combo pre RWC.

Got it?

As has been pointed out, it's Schmidt who has asked him to stay on for another year not BOD who has decided to stay on despite not really being wanted.

BOD is not bigger than Ireland but neither is the 2015 RWC bigger than anything else... after this Six Nations we have a summer tour to Argentina, 3 Autumn Internationals, another Six Nations, another summer tour and several warm-up matches before the RWC.

I don't think we should be looking at this Six Nations as a dress rehearsal for the RWC as we have many, many tests after it to do that. I think using the RWC as our yardstick for selection atm would be rather premature. If BOD is poor in the first few games of the 6N he should be dropped. But RWC 2015 has nothing to do with it.
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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 17 Jan 2014, 9:00 am

Scratch wrote:this is not that hard to grasp….he is still eligible to play now isn't he and he shouldn't be picked because he is not available for RWC 2015, IMO setting his own retirement at end of this season cornered Schmidt into playing him whatever. Gatland knows he is past it, most people who follow rugby do, but his vanity seems to outweigh Ireland's need to get a new centre combo pre RWC.

Got it?

Ireland and Schmidt know the issue and have the problem in hand.

The current second best 13 (Cave) is not considered, rightly or wrongly, quite good enough.
Earls was tried there but it didn't work

Two players will be ready to play 13 next year but because of ineligability (Payne) or inexperience (Henshaw) are not ready this year.
Therefore Schmidt asked BOD to continue for another year until those 2 guys can step into the position

Got it?

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Post by rodders Fri 17 Jan 2014, 9:25 am

Totally agree with Petes analysis on BOD - his observations pretty much mirror my own regarding the great mans performances, looking forward to see how he goes tonight.

Marginally harsh on Cave - I think he has produced in the heino many times and at only 26 still can improve, however he would have to improve to be an international 13. Cave is an excellent all round player but I think he just lacks a bit of athleticism and pace to cut it at the very top level - he's also inconsistent and error prone at times, with a tendency to force passes and make unforced handling errors - I don't think his work rate is up there with the likes of BOD, D'arcy, McFadden, Marshall etc. either. That said he read the game very well and like BOD has a knack of popping up and scoring important tries.
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Post by slane Fri 17 Jan 2014, 2:57 pm

Scratch wrote:Well $%^& me…what you are effectively saying is BOD is bigger than Ireland.

Serious question…is BOD the best 13 Ireland have who will be available for 2015 or is that even a consideration at this point.


No we have Henshaw who switched from 13 to 15 then back to 13, he's a big athletic guy with a lot of potential but at the moment he's a little bit inexperienced but he has been earmarked by Schmidt as our next 13. I think he will play 13 in the Irish Wolfhounds game this year and might be our backup 13 during the 6 nations but I can't see him getting a start.

We also have Payne who becomes qualified for Ireland this year, IMO he is an unreal player and should be starting at 13 for Ireland during the RWC unless Henshaw steps up between now and then in which case Payne will play at 15. So yeah it's all up in the air atm but I think it's fitting that BOD will get a proper send off baring injury. He will up his game for this one as will the players around him, of that I have no doubt, so it's a win win for Ireland.

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