Ireland’s Jamie Heaslip lauds Joe Schmidt’s impact

Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip hails head coach Joe Schmidt's impact since replacing Declan Kidney

Jamie Heaslip
Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip

Jamie Heaslip believes Joe Schmidt is already having a major impact on the Ireland side ahead of the forthcoming Six Nations.

In Schmidt’s first three games in charge Ireland emphatically defeated Samoa before a heavy loss to Australia was followed up by their heart-wrenching 24-22 loss to New Zealand, having romped into a 19-0 lead after 17 minutes.

But Heaslip, who played under Schmidt when he was in charge at Leinster, can already see the improvements.

“He’s a stickler for detail and puts a lot of onus on players to know their stuff. You’re playing with good players, you’ve got to trust guys to do a job,” Heaslip told the Irish Independent.

“There’s too much going on, you can’t worry about someone else not doing their thing. You can’t have weak links in the chain. Rugby is one of the few last proper team sports.

“You’ve people like Mike Ross and Rob Kearney, polar opposites in terms of body shape and athletic abilities, but they’re all buying into the same system and all have to be able to do their jobs.

“If one doesn’t, at international or club level, you just don’t have the time to be filling in and doing someone else’s.”

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