Sport Rugby

Thursday 14 December 2017

Three things Schmidt would like to see

The US fancy their chances for this and, although the new coach has had minimal interaction with the squad and only arrived last night, he still does not want his name associated with a historic first defeat to the Eagles.

The US fancy their chances for this and, although the new coach has had minimal interaction with the squad and only arrived last night, he still does not want his name associated with a historic first defeat to the Eagles.

2 THE BEGINNINGS

OF A NEW GAMEPLAN

Ian Madigan says Les Kiss has given him freedom in the back line and he can do damage with front-foot ball. Ireland's game plan grew stale under Declan Kidney and Schmidt is expected to revolutionise the way the team play. That certainly won't happen in one week, but the first signs of progress would be nice.

3 SIGNS OF LIFE AFTER BOD

We have been anointing 'the next Brian O'Driscoll' with little success for a while now, but with just one more year the extent of the great man's ambitions, there is an imperative to find a successor. Three contenders are on the field today – Stuart Olding gets a chance to shine and, while Darren Cave wears the No 13 shirt, don't be surprised to see Robbie Henshaw slot into the outside centre role at some stage if Ireland build a lead.

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