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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 14 July, 2020

Schmidt: 'I don't think it's going to be boring, it's going to be incredibly exhilarating'

Ireland’s head coach stressed the importance of respecting an opponent’s ability.

Schmidt at training in the Aviva.
Schmidt at training in the Aviva.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Sean Farrell reports from the Aviva Stadium 

IRELAND HEAD COACH Joe Schmidt says he will keep his head down and focused on the task at hand rather than take offence to any verbal grenades coming from England’s camp.

However, the Kiwi did stress the importance of respecting an opponent when meeting at Test level.

England assistant John Mitchell said Ireland’s gameplan would be an attempt to ‘bore the shit’ out of the visitors at the Aviva Stadium when the Six Nations campaign kicks off on Saturday.

When his compatriot’s comments were put to Schmidt, he said:

“It’s just people have different approaches. I think it’s incredibly important to respect your opponents, I think it’s incredibly important to acknowledge what abilities they bring to the game.

“I don’t think for a moment it’s going to be boring. I think it’s going to be incredibly exhilarating, it’s going to be edge of the seat, because I don’t think there’s going to be a huge amount between the teams.

“I do think people are going to be entertained,” said the head coach while suggesting that Saturday could see another big night for decibel readings in Dublin 4.

Robbie Henshaw and Conor Murray Robbie Henshaw and Conor Murray were not involved in the November win over New Zealand, but will start this weekend. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

There will be time for further shots across the bows between now and kick-off, but Schmidt insists he will be steering clear of verbal jousts and devoting all his time to coaching his team.

“I heard the boring comment, I heard the batphone comment, I don’t know what else they’ve been saying,” said Schmidt with a smile.

“All I can keep doing is keep my head down, keep trying to find the fine margins and support players the best I can to get the prepared as well as I can.

“It doesn’t distract me, because it’s not immediately relevant to what I’m doing.

“I’ve known Mitch a long time, I look forward to meeting him and then the banter can be face-to-face and if there’s something that needs to be said, it can be said, and it will be said with a light-hearted bit of repartee I think.”


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

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Sean Farrell

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