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Eddie O'Sullivan cautions against expectations that Joe Schmidt will replicate his Leinster success with Ireland

Updated: Monday, 29 Apr 2013 15:35 | Comments

Joe Schmidt's familiarity with the provincial game in Ireland is a plus, according to Eddie O'Sullivan
Joe Schmidt's familiarity with the provincial game in Ireland is a plus, according to Eddie O'Sullivan

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Former Irish coach Eddie O’Sullivan was adamant that Schmidt was the right man to coach Ireland, but cautioned that people should perhaps not expect him to replicate his success at provincial level.

“There is no question he is the right man for the job. The fact that he is coaching here in Ireland, and not coming in and starting fresh, is a huge advantage because he knows the provinces, he knows the players and he knows the system here.”

“To all intents and purposes it’s an internal appointment because he is a provincial coach and I think that’s very, very good.”

“It was generally thought that if Declan (Kidney) were to step down Joe would be the favourite. He distanced himself from that, as you would expect, for a long time but once he said that it was up to Leinster as to whether he would go forward (for the Irish job) everyone assumed it was a done deal.

"Leinster were never going to stand in his way of moving up to the next level.”

“Everyone is hoping to see Ireland play the same style as Leinster, but it is different challenge (at international level).

"Coaching a national team is not like coaching a provincial team on a week-in week-out basis. You get very small blocks of time (with the players), which are very intensely packed together, and you have got to get results in that time. You don’t have the same wiggle room for experimentation.”

“There are possibly 10 or 11 games per year, and you have got to try and win every one of those games.

One of those might be against a tier two nation, but most of them are tough games to win. It’s a different dynamic and Joe knows that.”

“He is a very intelligent coach and he knows what he is stepping into.” 

Former Irish international Hugo MacNeill welcomed the appointment.

"Joe Schmidt was the outstanding candidate, not just on the national level but on the international level. If you had your choice he would be the person," he said speaking to RTÉ.

"He has taken on the Leinster project and built on them being European Champions. He has worked with an outstanding group of players to set standards of consistency and excellence in achievement that is so strong."

“He is a very intelligent coach and he knows what he is stepping into" - Eddie O'Sullivan on Joe Schmidt

RTÉ’s rugby commentator Michael Corcoran was also positive about Schmidt taking the reigns

"It’s a huge boost for Irish rugby that Joe Schmidt is now going to turn his attention to the international game having been so successful with Leinster.

"It’s a really welcome appointment. He has been the stand-out candidate simply because of his track record. He has led Leinster to two Heineken Cup wins and the final of the Amlin Challenge Cup. They are also just one win away from securing a home semi-final in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season.

"It’s expected he will sign a three-year contract which will take him up to the end of the 2015/2016 season, which will take in the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 Six Nations.

"The IRFU have gone through a pretty rigorous interview process over the past few weeks, but I think it was narrowed down to two people, Joe Schmidt and Les Kiss, and there is a distinct possibility that Les Kiss could form part of the new backroom team.

"This year was a rather disappointing one from an international point of view, but he will inherit a squad of players many of whom have played international rugby two or three years ahead of what was anticipated."

"I think he is the right man, in the right place, at the right time."

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