Monday 22 January 2018

Schmidt hails Reddan influence

Ireland's Eoin Reddan poses for a portrait. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ireland's Eoin Reddan poses for a portrait. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Joe Schmidt has praised retiring scrum-half Eoin Reddan's leadership and rugby brain as he named the 35-year-old on the bench for his final Test.

The New Zealander has worked with the Limerick man since he arrived at Leinster in 2010, winning two Heineken Cups, a Pro12, a Challenge Cup and two Six Nations titles together.

Reddan has decided to turn down Leinster's offer of a one-year deal to pursue a career in the aircraft financing industry and will play for last time if introduced in Port Elizabeth tomorrow.

"I've really enjoyed working with Eoin," Schmidt said. "He's been a part of the leadership group through those six years either in Leinster or in the Irish set-up, he brings a real intelligence to the game and a real competitive edge.

"His ability to get the basics right have allowed him to be incredibly efficient as a scrum-half and that's what you want when you're in a pivotal position. His intelligence around the game, his ability to drive the forwards, be respected by the forwards has been really beneficial."

"It's something that the teams around him have benefited from for the six years that I've been involved with him and prior to that, where he had real success with Wasps and with Ireland."

Meanwhile, Springbok coach Allister Coetzee is promising a tough battle tomorrow.

"This Test will be right down in the trenches again," he said. "We have to be able to slog it out in the trenches.

"As a coach I can't be motivating players, not for a series decider. Hopefully we'll pitch up and perform."

Irish Independent

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