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'Schmidt doesn't cut any corners, he expects the same from us' -- Best

‘You can see why the Leinster boys speak so highly of him,’ says the Ulster hooker.

Image: INPHO

PERHAPS IT’S DOWN to him being on the tail end of an intense pre-season, but the one word Rory Best keeps coming back to in relation to the Ireland setup is ‘refreshing’.

The hooker was part of the 42-man training camp at Carton House this week and speaking to TheScore.ie today, he spoke of his first impressions of working under Joe Schmidt:

In the short time we had together you can see the aspects of why the Leinster boys speak so highly of him,” says Best.

“His attention to detail and the pressure he puts on you to get your stuff right – individually and as a collective – will go well. It’s refreshing to see him, he doesn’t cut any corners when he’s preparing and he expects the same from us.

“There’s a level of honesty being asked for which is nice and refreshing, hopefully we can come through and it will be a good thing for Irish rugby.”

Schmidt has mentioned Best as one of five potential captains to lead Ireland in their three November Tests. That decision is another to be made at a later date, however. This weekend, there wasn’t even time to form a leadership group – which is fair enough, leaders don’t need to be told they’re in charge, after all.

“You have your groups of leaders and captains and they all generally come together with Ireland and that leadership group sort of forms itself.

“In a two-day camp, you’re more getting to know the coaches to see what their vision of going forward is.

As Paul O’Connell admitted yesterday, the short-sharp sessions were team focused, himself and Best will have other days to get the pack onto the same page.

“We didn’t have a lot of time together, we only had the two or three pitch sessions, one of them being a walk-through. So it was nice to get a bit of free-flowing rugby and get the ball in hand et cetera.

“There’s going to be a lot more set-piece work to be done the next time we meet up, but from an initial start-off point it’s good to make sure everyone’s doing things well and make sure everyone’s comfortable with the ball in their hands.”

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Sean Farrell

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