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BOD will get over his World Cup blow - Schmidt

LEINSTER coach Joe Schmidt has insisted that rugby stars Brian O'Driscoll and Jonathon Sexton will bounce back from their World Cup disappointments.

Joe, who has just been signed up as a book reviewer for the Herald, says that the Irish captain had an inner strength that would help him get over the quarter-final defeat.

"One of the things that makes Brian O'Driscoll a little bit special is his strength of character, so it's not really about what I do.

"Brian will work his way through it and his competitive edge and resilience will ensure that he is in the right condition, both mentally and physically, to start back with us."



heroic

He also says that Sexton shouldn't be too disheartened by the fact that he went to the World Cup as Ireland's first choice out-half but finished as a substitute.

"Johnny is an outstanding player and I'm confident that he will come back into the Leinster environment and be positive and look to contribute," said Schmidt.

Joe, who masterminded Leinster's heroic comeback in this year's Heineken Cup final, made the comments in an interview for today's Dubliner magazine.

The Kiwi insists that Leinster's success was a joint effort and not some secret instructions or special speech at half time. "I credit that a fair bit to the other coaches and the players themselves," Joe said, recalling how his side were all but losers at half-time.

"I remember (forwards coach) Jono Gibbes and I were walking down to the dressing room, past the two pretty confident looking Northampton coaches, Jim Mallinder and Dorian West. "We took those couple of minutes to clear our heads and determine what needed to be said.

"The first thing was to give some confidence because at 22-6 down, you need to believe you can get back into the game.

"(Scrum coach) Greg Feek had a couple of bits of scrum footage and worked a bit of magic, but the messages were mostly about clarity and confidence," he said.

"Whatever we did say at half time wasn't guaranteed to succeed.

"It was really what the players did when they came back out again ... and they did it very well, thankfully."

Joe also has a passion for literature, one he will explore in the Herald, as the new book reviewer.

hnews@herald.ie


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