Sunday 21 January 2018

Stephen Ferris talks Joe Schmidt's mind games

Legendary former Ulster and Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris gave a brilliant insight into how Joe thinks and how he deals with his players when he attended the Off The Ball Roadshow in association with Heineken Rugby Club at the RDS on the 17th of November.

Having beaten New Zealand in Chicago and run the All Blacks close on their trip to Dublin, we all know Joe Schmidt is one of the best coaches in the world.  From his time with Clermont Auvergne as backs coach, through to his time of unprecedented success with Leinster and now as the man leading Ireland to new heights in rugby, anyone who has ever played under Joe Schmidt will tell you about his attention to detail.

Leaving no stone unturned in his exhaustive preparation for a game, the Kiwi demands the highest standards from his players and staff. Those famed post-game video analysis sessions with individual players, even after a win, are not always looked forward to as Joe casts his harsh eye over every facet of performance in the quest to eke out that extra 1% that can mean the difference between winning and losing at the highest level.

It’s still a sore point for Irish rugby fans as they never got to see Stephen play under Joe Schmidt. Joe appreciates physicality in his backrow and you’d think that Stephen would have been one of his first names on the team sheet.

A great night was had at the Off The Ball Roadshow with Stephen Ferris, Keith Wood and All Black legend Zinzan Brooke making up the panel. Plenty of craic and some valuable rugby insights to boot.

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