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'Intensity is Joe's middle name' says Cronin ahead of Wallabies clash

The Leinster hooker expects to make an appearance against Australia tomorrow.

Joe Schmidt puts his side through their paces at Lansdowne Road.
Joe Schmidt puts his side through their paces at Lansdowne Road.
Image: INPHO/Dan Sheridan
THE HEAD COACH is ‘more intense’ than anything Sean Cronin has experienced and the forwards coach ‘dreams about mauls’. The hooker is feeling the love.

Cronin is named on the bench against Australia tomorrow but, such is Joe Schmidt’s preference for utilising his replacements, that he expects to play a key role against the Wallabies. Cronin experienced two seasons under the Kiwi at Leinster and was delighted to see him installed as Ireland coach. Schmidt’s attention to detail has, so far, been remarked upon by his former charges at Leinster as well as players from the other provinces.

“Intensity is Joe’s middle name really,” Cronin told TheScore.ie. ”He demands what he does from his players and training is no different. He is trying to bring that in, game speed, game decisions, that have to be made with the snap of a finger, so the sessions have been fairly intense but they have been fairly enjoyable. They are short and sharp. He is looking for high quality in everything we do so, maybe slightly more intense than previous regimes that were here.”

Schmidt’s intensity for the job was clear to see for Irish supporters as he jogged back and forth across the Lansdowne Road pitch before his side’s 40-9 win over Samoa. Cronin said: “It is great to see because we know how up for it he is.

The players have to be a couple of pegs higher than him, but like I said Joe loves the game, is passionate but is extremely intelligent and shrewd as well. He knows how to get his players going and he has the lads well primed for the weekend.”

Schmidt has spoken about giving Test experience to a greater spread of players in an effort to build up a playing pool of ’30, 35′ men. Cronin is ‘sure Joe has his reasons’ to pick Luke Marshall over Gordon D’Arcy and believes he is looking for players ‘to bring something different’.

“Gordon is a fantastic player and Conor (Murray), you can see the progress he has made over the last number of years and the Lions tour he had,” he says. “Eoin coming in (and) Luke. They have their own attributes and they have had fantastic season so far with their clubs, so I’m sure they are really looking forward to their chance on Saturday.”

Cronin is also enjoying his work with John Plumtree and believes the 20m rolling maul is a direct result of the former Super Rugby coach’s work with the team.

“John has come in and has really broken it down,” revealed the Limerick native. “He is looking at the throw, the jump, the lift, every aspect of it. It has been really enjoyable that way. I have been working with him a bit myself so we know what he wants.

“It seems like he is dreaming about mauls when he goes home at night. It is an aspect that he wants to bring in and he wants to simplify it and he really wants to get us going on that front.”

Like rugby? Follow TheScore.ie’s dedicated Twitter account @rugby_ie >

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Patrick McCarry

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