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"If I had my time over, I'd probably change that" - Joe Schmidt highlights Ireland rhythm shift

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

9:50 PM - 22 Oct 2019




Joe Schmidt says a change of rhythm during the Six Nations impacted Ireland in the lead-up to the Rugby World Cup.

The outgoing Ireland head coach arrived back in Dublin from Japan with the squad on Tuesday night.

Three days on from the heavy defeat at the hands of New Zealand, he discussed the importance of rhythm for the team.

"We changed that during the Six Nations and we changed it because we wanted to be really good in the World Cup," he said.

"And we probably would have been better off just to stay with our week-to-week focus. To live in the moment and play the tournament we were in. If I had my time over, I'd probably change that. But my time is finished, so they'll be great learnings for the team and squad."

Schmidt also highlighted the fact that Ireland did not have a bye week due to the fixture set-up or the impact of Typhoon Hagibis.

"Any of those teams that got the weekend off, it was a massive boon. It gave them that preparation window," he said.

"We had a few knocks and niggles from the Samoans. They hit hard. I do think we didn't have the same rhythm that the All Blacks and talking to their coaching staff, it was the same."

Memories

In reflective mood, Schmidt also highlighted the grateful messages he has received from his ex-players over the last 48 hours, highlighting the Six Nations and Grand Slam wins during his tenure.

"I know the trophies are the visible things, the wins... but you want to try and help people get better," he said.

"I worked as hard as I could to do that. So it doesn't always work out in the two 40 minute periods. We've had those trophies fall our way and to end as we did is really disappointing."

The New Zealander is not only stepping away as Ireland coach, but as a head coach in general which makes the disappointment even different.

"Because it's what you finished on," he explained.

"And so it is more difficult. I've finished as a rugby coach and it's hard to step away with that as your last involvement. But at the same time, I can only work as hard as I can work. I've worked with incredibly good people."

He also added that he's "looking forward" to see how the team progress from afar.

"Instead of looking through the glass, I might just have one in my hand," he quipped.

You can watch the full interview with Joe Schmidt above via YouTube.

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