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Kruis backs Ireland and Munster to bounce back

England and Saracens lock also reveals he is staying with Saracens despite interest from Japanese clubs.

George Kruis in action against Ireland.
George Kruis in action against Ireland.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

ENGLAND INTERNATIONAL GEORGE Kruis has said Andy Farrell’s appointment as head coach will spark a revival in Ireland’s fortunes.

Despite the disastrous nature of Ireland’s World Cup exit, which came on the back of an underwhelming Six Nations, Kruis is unconvinced a rot has set in. Instead he pointed to his own country’s five-game losing streak in 2018 as a more relevant reference point. “There can be a cyclical element to these things,” Kruis said on a promotional day for his organic supplements company, FourFiveCBD. “We’d an awful period a couple of years ago, were down confidence wise, but as soon as we addressed the issues that were affecting our performances, something clicked for us.

“Who’s to say that won’t happen with Ireland? Looking at their team, they’ve so much going for them. They’ve squad depth; an excellent set-piece, well organised defence; strong attack. Add in the fact they’re just after making two good coaching appointments and you have a contender for the Six Nations.”

It’s hardly surprising that Farrell would receive Kruis’s endorsement, given he worked under him with England and latterly the Lions. The Saracens second row also served under Mike Catt, Ireland’s new attack coach.   

“Andy is a good appointment. He’s a commanding figure. When he walks into a dressing room, there’s a natural confidence there but his skills as a coach extend beyond the strength of his personality. He has a smart rugby brain, as does Mike. They’re serious about their work.”

So too are Saracens. A bonus-point victory against Racing on Sunday would deliver a quarter-final place for the holders, thereby ending Munster’s participation in this year’s tournament.

In this respect, he has good and bad news for the province. “We’re focused on Sunday, we’re up against an excellent side but we’re hungry to stay in the tournament,” he said, at which point he was informed, and subsequently bemused, by the criticism Munster have received in the aftermath of their defeat to Racing.

Screenshot 2019-06-24 at 16.13.03 (3) George Kruis is planning for life after rugby by setting up his own company.

“There are somewhere around 10 teams in Europe, sides who could beat anyone on their day. Munster are in that elite. If they don’t make the quarter-finals, they’ll still be in that top ten and will still be a team who clubs would want to avoid in next year’s draw. They’ve reached three successive European semi-finals. You don’t be that consistent unless you’re a very good team.

“And they are. Their philosophy reminds me of ours (at Saracens) in that they promote from within, they generate a really good team spirit and they stick together. People have to stand by them. They aren’t going away.”

Nor for that matter is Kruis. After being linked with a number of clubs, the 29-year-old made it clear today that he wants to stay with Saracens, not just for the remainder of this season, but also into next year. “I’m aware of the speculation,” he said. “I won’t be going anywhere. I’m happy at Saracens. I’m staying.”

  • Kruis co-founded his organic sports supplement company with former Welsh and Saracens player, Dom Day. For further details see www.fourfivecbd.co.uk

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