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'A quiet presence that takes up a lot of space' - Schmidt speaks about O'Connell loss

Schmidt speaks about the loss of O’Connell, O’Mahony and Payne.

"His influence is very much demonstrated by what he does,"
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

IRELAND HEAD COACH Joe Schmidt has spoken for the first time about losing captain Paul O’Connell for the rest of the World Cup.

O’Connell joined Peter O’Mahony and Jared Payne on Ireland’s casualty list, drawing the curtain on a 13-and-a-half year International career.

And speaking to Irish Rugby TV, Schmidt said that the player’s leadership will be sorely missed ahead of the weekend’s quarter-final against Argentina.

“It’s a quiet presence. It’s a quiet presence that takes up a lot of space. He physically is a big man, but his influence on others doesn’t have to be stated. His influence is very much demonstrated by what he does, and because he does it other people will follow.

“And what he does is commit himself to absolutely every facet preparation.”

“You see how committed he is on the pitch. He’s where he needs to be, he’s delivering physically every time he’s required to.”

Schmidt also spoke about the loss of Peter O’Mahony and Jared Payne, saying that the way his teammates rallied around the Ulster centre following his recent criticism spoke volumes of his influence in the squad.

Schmidt added that he believed Ireland would not be Six Nations champions this year, had it not been for the influence of O’Mahony in the backrow.

“Again, I don’t think we would have won the Six Nations this year without Peter O’Mahony. His effort in Scotland was immense, his ability to take ball in the air and his ability to carry it forward, his lineout intelligence and physical capability were incredibly important to us.”

You can see Schmidt’s full interview with the IRFU below.

Source: IrishRugbyTVOfficial/YouTube

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