Bobby Skinstad Optimistic On Irish Rugby’s Future After Calendar Change
At BoyleSports we caught up with Springboks legend Bobby Skinstad who gave us his take on Irish Rugby’s future.
In assessing what the future holds for Irish Rugby, Skinstad takes into account Ireland’s recent World Cup performance along with the new test rugby calendar overhaul.
Could Ireland, fresh off the back of another heartbreaking Rugby World Cup Quarter-Final exit, benefit from this new-look calendar? Find out what the former South Africa captain had to say below.
Irish Rugby’s Future
Here’s what Skinstad had to say about the future of Irish Rugby following their 28-24 Rugby World Cup Quarter-Final loss to New Zealand and key retirements:
“I think Ireland are just going to get better and better. I think Johnny Sexton has obviously been key and has been a linchpin in the Leinster performances and the Leinster accumulation of trophies and accolades, and he will be personally very disappointed. But I certainly think Ireland are building for the future and I think they’ve got the opportunity now to look at what they did right and what they did wrong and to repair that.”
World Rugby Calendar Overhaul
In the leadup to the 2023 Rugby World Cup Final all the attention has turned away from finalists New Zealand and South Africa and onto a different issue.
That issue is the drastic overhaul of the international test rugby calendar that has been announced by World Rugby after a vote to enact massive changes was passed at a recent meeting by the World Rugby Council. The vote to enact these changes barely passed with many of the smaller nations and pundits alike believing that the move could kill the growth of the sport in these less traditionally strong rugby nations.
Skinstad, in reference to how Irish Rugby should approach the future, continued:
“I think they have to have a long-term approach to it, because we just had some announcements from World Rugby where there’s going to be competitions every two years, there’s going to be ranking and re-ranking, there’s going to be promotion and relegation.”
The big news with World Rugby’s announcements is that there will be a biennial tournament between the teams from the Six Nations and the Rugby Championship plus two other Southern Hemisphere teams which will first take place in the summer of 2026.
The teams will play each other in this competition in the Southern Hemisphere in July’s test window and again in the Northern Hemisphere in November where the two top teams will play each other on the final weekend to declare a winner.
Ireland Need To Build Around The Core Of This Team
The former 2007 Rugby World Cup winner with South Africa detailed how the Irish should approach the leadup to the next Rugby World Cup:
“I think you’ve got to take the core of this team that are still mid to late twenties and go to the next World Cup and even the next one and then build around that. I think Ireland have got so much talent, so much coaching talent and so much support from their own union that the Senior teams can churn out great competitive rugby for a long, long time.”
The next time we will see Ireland play is at the 2024 Six Nations which you can bet on with BoyleSports’ rugby betting odds.
Remember, always gamble responsibly. Here’s our Safer Gambling Guide.