Sunday 17 December 2017

POLL: 75pc of Irish rugby fans back Andy Farrell appointment

Andy Farrell has been appointed as Ireland defence coach
Andy Farrell has been appointed as Ireland defence coach
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

The announcement that Andy Farrell is joining Joe Schmidt’s backroom team caught many by surprise, but it appears the majority of Irish rugby fans have backed the IRFU’s decision.

Farrell was not kept on by the new England coach Eddie Jones when the Australian took over from Stuart Lancaster after their disastrous home World Cup campaign and last week Schmidt named the rugby league legend as Les Kiss’ successor as defence coach.

Farrell will not join Schmidt's team until after the Six Nations and in a poll conducted among more than 5,000 Irish Independent readers, 75pc voted that it was a positive move for Irish rugby.

Brian O’Driscoll has already publicly backed the move.

“I think having a strong character like Farrell coming in will be really good for Joe and the other coaches, and for the players too, to see them argue out points and not only have it as the ‘Joe way’ and the ‘Joe show’”.,” he said.

“It’s not “safe” for Joe, which I really like. He could have gone with someone who might be a little bit of a “yes” man.

“Joe does still like to control things, but when you have a strong character come in, it gives Farrell an opportunity to take control of the defence a lot more and take it away from Joe.”

* 5027 readers cast their vote in the poll.

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