Thursday 22 March 2018

Schmidt on ....

"People ask 'how do we get a world-class centre after Brian?' Well, Tommy Bowe has played there, Keith Earls is a class act, Luke Fitzgerald has been playing midfield for us, there is Fergus McFadden and we're hoping Eoin O'Malley will continue to develop with us. Nevin Spence is a real prospect -- he is combative and has got great leg change in his steps --so there are players there."

Ireland's second-row 'crisis'

"Second-row has been mentioned as a problem area but Donnacha Ryan did really well at the World Cup and you have got guys like Devin Toner, who has been going really well, Ian Nagle, Dan Tuohy. People are saying there is no one to take over from Paul O'Connell and, yeah, he is world class, but I wouldn't say Pat McCabe is world class for Australia or Aaron Cruden is yet for New Zealand, so it's a question of giving guys a go."

Dominic Ryan as a future Ireland No 7

"Dominic has made great progress -- he's a good athlete and has a great temperament and work ethic. He is 21 and will be 25 in 2015, he's fast and athletic and I think playing No 7 is realistic for him and for Rhys Ruddock, who is very quick as well. They can both get down and poach on the ball but I think Sean O'Brien is a great No 7. People say Ireland suffered for not having a No 7 but I thought the Irish back-row went really well."

Irish Independent

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