Andy Farrell says he is obsessed with teams who can stay at the top and revealed he has met with football managers Mikel Arteta and Alex Ferguson to learn more about achieving consistent excellence.
Under the Wigan native, Ireland have become the world’s No 1 team and go into this year’s Six Nations as favourites to win the title despite the loss of key prop Tadhg Furlong for the opener.
Farrell, who enjoyed great success as a player with Wigan in rugby league, believes the main area of improvement open to his Ireland team is on the mental side of the game where he wants to see them make big strides to achieve their goals.
“I think it’s where we can make the biggest strides,” he said of the team’s confidence and belief. “We’ve made a start, I don’t think we’re anywhere near where we can get to.
“The game is a very emotional one, and being able to control those emotions so that we can do what we say we’re going to do is key to us.”
Farrell is a Manchester City fan and admires the work of Pep Guardiola whom he’s never met. Still, he has been able to draw inspiration from a few managers of rival teams.
“Nothing in general, but watching everything,” he said when asked if there were other teams he focused on as examples of consistent success.
“I’d see how people cope with it. I’m obsessed with why teams keep being successful, why they are able to stay at the top because everyone is trying to hunt them down.
“The Manchester United of the golden years. I’m a Man City supporter but I was in awe of how they kept on winning title after title, because it’s so hard to do and the mentality and the fight to want to go out and attack the game in your manner is pretty key.
“I used an example of Man City playing Leeds away this year. A lot of superstars were in that side and Leeds went for them, physically went after them and it’s a tough old place to go, Leeds is. It’s hostile."