Peter O'Mahony has spoken glowingly about the impact departing Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has had on the game in this country.
Ireland exited the World Cup disappointingly with a 46-14 trouncing at the hands of the All Blacks in Tokyo on Saturday morning.
Andy Farrell will now take the big job, with Schmidt set to step away from the game for a period to spend some time with his family.
Munster flanker O'Mahony says the impact the New Zealander has had on rugby in Ireland goes well beyond just the senior international set-up.
"We could be here for a while with this answer. For me, he's changed the prospect and the outlook on rugby for young generations which is probably the biggest thing you could say about any person's career.
"There are kids in Ireland now who will be expecting to be successful, expecting to win trophies regularly and a big, huge portion of that will be down to Joe's work and his contribution to Irish rugby.
"Not only has he changed the direction of my career and this team's career but he's probably changed the careers of the guys who are in primary school and secondary school at the moment. So he's done incredible work.
"For me, he's changed the prospect and the outlook on rugby for young generations" 🇮🇪 👏
Talking Joe Schmidt, #RugbyWorldCup disappointment & @IrishRugby's future, Peter O'Mahony spoke to OTB's @ShaneHannon01 | @VodafoneIreland #TeamOfUs pic.twitter.com/iURxOn1Iav
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) October 24, 2019
Speaking in Dublin Airport on the Irish team's return from Japan on Tuesday evening, O'Mahony said he hadn't yet had the chance to watch back the painful defeat to Steve Hansen's New Zealand.
"I haven't had the chance to look back at it. Obviously we didn't perform to where we need to be performing or where we want to be performing. I haven't had a look back at the game.
"We've always learned from our experiences and you probably learn most from disappointment. I certainly hope that it's not a defining moment for my career, but all these experiences and moments in our careers are ones we'll always look back on for reference for future success hopefully."
As for what comes next for the Irish squad. O'Mahony says a little time off is first on the agenda.
"I think rest is the main thing at the moment, just to refresh the body, refresh the mind. We'll see what the story is over the next couple of weeks."
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