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'They're going to do great things' - Ben Foden insists Farrell and Catt have World Cup vision

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Head coach Andy Farrell during an Ireland rugby press conference in the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Head coach Andy Farrell during an Ireland rugby press conference in the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Head coach Andy Farrell during an Ireland rugby press conference in the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Ex-England international Ben Foden has given an opposition perspective on Ireland's new management team ahead of Andy Farrell's first game in sole charge his home country.

The 34-times capped players is currently plying his trade with Rugby United New York and joined the panel on this week's The Left Wing, Independent,ie's rugby podcast - in association with Land Rover - from the States.

And having worked with both Farrell and his assistant Mike Catt when they were in the English set-up under Stuart Lancaster, he believes the encouragement garnered from Ireland's dominant performance against Wales after a disappointing first game against Scotland will only be the start of something special.

"I've been underneath both Catty and Faz and they are very diligent. They literally watch film constantly, they're always looking to get better," he said.

"For me, Andy Farrell was very tactical minded. He was always talking to his chiefs on the field. Whether it's his scrum-half or fly-half on where to play the game or defensively the mindset of the team, they'll do good things.

"Mike Catt has got massive, massive experience in going right to the end. Obviously, with the World Cup win in 2003, he knows what it's like to play on the biggest stage and deliver.

"Obviously working underneath Schmidt before he left was vital, they're always learning.

"They're always looking for weaknesses in teams. They're always looking to work on the strengths and weaknesses within their team. They're going to do great things".

A good indicator of whether those great things will stretch to a Sin Nations crown in their freshman year will come on Sunday as they face off against an English team still seemingly suffering from the comedown of their World Cup final defeat.

The questions raised over the choice of Johnny Sexton as Farrell's captain, given that Ireland’s playmaker will be 38 by the time France 2023 rolls around, and after Caelan Doris' early exit in the Scotland game saw little in the way of new blood largely dissipatedon the warm glow of the Wales performance.

But while Foden believes that the pair will have one eye on what can be achieved this season, he believes everything that is done will be towards the ultimate goal of the next World Cup.

"Ireland have always been strong. They always have good young players coming through," he finished.

“When you lose someone like Sexton for a game and everyone umms and ahhs and says 'who's the next guy covering for him' but they always manage to find someone. There's Carbery and all kinds of players are queuing up to take that position as well.

"They know the calibre of players they're getting in the Irish fold and they want to try and help Ireland win the next World Cup. That'll be their main goal as well.

"They'll want to stick their job for the next four years, find some secret talent that's still out there for Ireland and the next weapon that's going to help them bring home some silverware, whether it's in the Six Nations this year or next year.

"But I'm telling you all coaches and staff's minds will already be turned to the next World Cup. It's all about getting their squad of 35 players who can deliver that William Webb Ellis trophy."

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Mike Catt and Keith Earls

Mike Catt and Keith Earls

SPORTSFILE

Mike Catt and Keith Earls

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