Dublin: 1°C Sunday 28 November 2021

'I think it's a headline': Easterby brushes off England's latest verbal grenade

The entire Ireland squad trained at their Carton House base on Tuesday morning.

SIMON EASTERBY SAYS John Mitchell’s assertion that Ireland will try to ‘bore the shit out of us’ when England come to Dublin for Saturday’s Six Nations opener is nothing more than a headline.

Although conceding Ireland are now the best side in the world, Mitchell, the England defence coach, yesterday launched the latest verbal grenade in the direction of Carton House.

Peter O'Mahony Peter O'Mahony in training this morning. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Joe Schmidt’s side are renowned for their relentless ball retention and ability to wear teams down through patient, multi-phase passages of play, scoring 43 tries during the 2018 calendar year. 

Ireland enjoyed an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds of possession per game during last season’s Grand Slam win, the highest in the Six Nations, with England next best with 21 minutes and 56 seconds. 

Responding to Mitchell’s comments, Ireland forwards coach Easterby this afternoon said: “I think it’s a headline. I think if you look at the article and read a bit more about what he actually said, I don’t think it’s too much to read into.

“We focus on what we do. We’re good at what we do. There will always be an opinion about whatever team is playing, however a team plays, no matter how good they are, how poor they are, there’s always going to be an opinion.

“We’ll take that in our stride and look forward to creating a game at the weekend which we feel we’re capable of.”

Easterby dismissed the suggestion Mitchell’s comments, and the mind games used by Eddie Jones and his management in the build-up to the Aviva Stadium showdown, is actually complimentary to Ireland.

He added: “Guys use motivation in whatever way they want individually but for us as a team and a squad, we don’t take too much interest in what is being said outside of that.

“It is what it is. I think it’s a bit of a headline and we’re just focussing on how good we can be come the weekend. Let’s see how the game goes.”

Simon Easterby Easterby speaking at Carton House today. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Easterby, meanwhile, reported a clean bill of health after Tuesday morning’s squad training session at Carton House, with all 38 players taking to the paddock in Kildare.

Rob Kearney, Jack McGrath, Jack Conan and Andrew Conway all linked up with Schmidt’s squad having missed the warm-weather training camp in Portugal, while Leinster’s Adam Byrne has remained in camp this week.

“Yeah, everyone came through,” Easterby continued.

“We’ve been very lucky with the injury list at the moment. We got a pretty healthy squad of players and that obviously creates a fair bit of competition and competitiveness in training is up to the level you would expect.” 


Join us to preview the Six Nations with Simon Zebo, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey on Thursday @7pm in Liberty Hall Theatre Dublin.

About the author:

Ryan Bailey

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel