Schmidt: Muliaina's experience will help young guns
JOE SCHMIDT believes that Connacht's capturing of former All Black Mils Muliaina will be a great benefit to Robbie Henshaw and other potential young Irish backs with the province.
Schmidt coached Muliaina with the Auckland Blues and said that the signing of the 33-year old would be a big boost to Connacht and to young players there.
Schmidt briefly discussed the signing of the All Black with Henshaw yesterday when he met him at a function at NUI Galway, where the Connacht player is studying.
"I had the opportunity to coach Mils a little bit in the Blues in Auckland so I know the quality of the person and the player that he is, so I think that he will definitely add value," said the Ireland coach.
"And hopefully that value will extend beyond Robbie to the back three – there's some good young players in the back three there for Connacht and there's some good players also in the pack, and obviously Kieran Marmion at No 9 is a guy that we've got a bit of interest in," said Schmidt.
The Irish coach said that the signing of a player of Muliaina's calibre sent out positive vibes and that there would be a lot of benefits for Connacht on and off the field.
"It's great for Connacht, I think it has already caused a little bit of excitement and that's what you want. You want people to get excited about the game in all four corners of the country," added the Irish coach.
Schmidt also met Connacht coach Pat Lam along with Marmion and centre Eoin Griffin, who moves to London Irish in the summer, during his visit to NUIG.