"I wanted to be Irish without being plastic" – Joe Schmidt on his Irish citizenship
JOE SCHMIDT has said his newly granted Irish citizenship has helped 'gel the Irish team together,' speaking at Carton House today.
The coach, who still holds citizenship of his native New Zealand, said that he didn't want to be a plastic paddy.
"It was great to get the citizenship yesterday because I wanted to be Irish without being plastic," he said.
"Especially considering I'm part of an Irish group that I've an enormous amount of respect for- that's management and players too.
"It's nice to be going to the tournament knowing that I've the same rights as anyone else in the nation.
"There's a degree in satisfaction in that because I feel little bit more part of the group."
"There's was a few plastic jokes, thrown at me of course by the guys. I'm glad that both Richardt (Strauss) and myself from the group had managed to get the opportunity to get our naturalisation.
"I just think it gels the group a little bit more."