Saturday 21 September 2019

'Thank you very much' - Andy Farrell bats away speculation that he will succeed Joe Schmidt

16 March 2018; Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, left, with defence coach Andy Farrell during the Ireland rugby captain's run at Twickenham Stadium in London, England. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
16 March 2018; Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, left, with defence coach Andy Farrell during the Ireland rugby captain's run at Twickenham Stadium in London, England. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Des Berry

Andy Farrell dealt quickly with the report that the IRFU would embrace the Stuart Lancaster-Farrell combination to succeed Joe Schmidt, should it come to pass.

What was his reaction?

"Thank you very much."

"Look, that type of thing, you won’t expect me to answer today," he continued.

"Look at the week that we’ve got.

"What I would say on that is I’ve got a fantastic job. I really enjoy myself working under Joe, who will make his decision in time."

There came a similar reply when asked how he felt about Steve Hansen’s suggestion Ireland would be the best team in the world by winning on Saturday.

"Thank you very much again," he smiled.

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Ireland won’t become the best team in the world, not even by beating the best, "not when a side has been top of the tree for nine years," according to Farrell. 

The Ireland defence coach has also admitted he does not hold the key to beating the All Blacks.

The Englishman has been an assistant coach for The Lions, England and Ireland for three wins over the world champions. 

"There is no secret. I’ve lost against them a lot more than I’ve won," he said.

"They’re a good side, aren’t they? What they are masters at is when things go wrong for them, which they do, their confidence levels, their ability to stick to the plan, stay on point, is better than anyone."

The buzz about Carton House has been different this week to most other weeks for a good reason.

Can you feel the difference? "You certainly can," added Farrell.

"You would expect it t be like that. They are the best team in the world for a reason.

"We want to play against them as much as we possibly can.

"Why? Because we want to test ourselves. We want to keep on improving."

Full-back Rob Kearney and centre Garry Ringrose were joined by centre Bundee Aki and scrum-half Kieran Marmon in training fully.

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