Wednesday 16 October 2019

'Unbelievable' Schmidt will get Ireland firing

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. Photo: Sportsfile

Australia head coach Michael Cheika believes that Ireland will challenge for the World Cup later this year, despite their recent slump.

Cheika recently spent time in this part of the world attending Six Nations games with a particular focus on Wales, who his Wallabies will meet in the pool stages in Japan.

The 52-year-old also saw plenty of Ireland, including being in Dublin for their opening defeat to England. He is adamant that Joe Schmidt's side have not been figured out and did not peak too soon by enjoying a stunning last year.

"Absolutely not," Cheika, who is linked with a director of rugby role at Leicester Tigers, insisted. "Everyone's got their opinion, haven't they? I don't think so myself.

"I believe every game has its own life. When you turn up it's zero-zero, and that's why the team that's running last can be the team that's running first on any given day.

"Mate, he's (Schmidt) been pretty unbelievable as a coach over here, and there's going to be the odd person here or there who might say something like that but I certainly don't believe that.

"He's got an excellent strategy. We battled against them in three Tests in Australia, so we saw it close up. So yeah, I think they'll be right up there when the whips are cracking in September/October/November."

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