What Is Irish Rugby’s Biggest Weakness? Quinlan Pinpoints One Area
Ireland are the number one ranked team in international rugby, but heading into a World Cup year, what is Irish rugby’s biggest weakness?
Irish rugby is in perhaps the best position that we’ve ever seen. There were worries after the departure of legendary Ireland coach Joe Schmidt about if the country would be able to maintain its level as one of the very best in the world.
Current Ireland coach Andy Farrell has not only been able to keep Ireland at the highest level but he has also built on Schmidt’s success. With that being said, this Ireland rugby team is not perfect and we wanted to know what Irish rugby’s biggest weakness was ahead of this Six Nations.
We caught up with Ireland and Munster legend Alan Quinlan who picked out one potential area that could be Irish rugby’s biggest weakness and more importantly how these Irish players have the ability to overcome it.
I worry Ireland could be overpowered
Ireland aren’t the biggest team in the world but there’s a lot of intelligent footballers and good player so cohesively their biggest strength is the sum of their parts not the individual. they’re very well balanced.
Ireland have more strings to their bow. If there’s any sort of worry or vulnerability about Ireland, it’s that power and size situation. If they’re not on the money they can be vulnerable and they can be got at.
Every team they play against is going to try to smash Ireland physically.
That’s the intrigue, how Ireland cope with dealing with that physicality.
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Vital Ireland take one game at a time
Very much so because I think what you’re gonna experience now is a lot of journalists from other countries talking them up or maybe ridiculing the fact that they’re not the best team in the world and that France are the best team in the world or South Africa are better than Ireland, or whatever.
Ireland are comfortable with that. Ireland doesn’t need that mantle. It’s not a psychological advantage to them in any way. I think in fact, they probably think of themselves as being the second or third best thing in the world, not number one.
But one of their big strengths is the Leinster players there and they play with each other on a regular basis. They know inside out. They’re good position. I don’t think there was too far ahead because.
If they don’t win the Six Nations that might not be the worst thing in the world to temper expectations a little bit.
You can check out our preview of Ireland’s Six Nations chances this year along with all of their fixtures and form going into the tournament.
Irish Rugby Head Coach Andy Farrell is an inspiration
He’s done a brilliant job. And Mike Catt. They had big boots to fill when they went in and took over from Joe Schmidt.
There was a lot of question marks about the attack and the predictability about Ireland. He’s very popular with the players. And you can see the level of belief and inspiration that he’s given these guys. And we saw a lot of it last year, but he’s a realist as well.
Most of the Irish players who’ve experienced what happened in Japan and the 2019 Six Nations understand that things can change very, very quickly. And they just got to try and be conscious and aware of it.
I think their game has developed to the point that they’re not going to change the way they’re trying to keep the ball alive and attack and be ambitious.
For Ireland to have England and France is obviously a benefit it doesn’t guarantee you anything. What Fabien Galthie and Shaun Edwards have done for France is incredible. And Warren Gatland’s return to Wales brings excitement. I’m sure he’ll fire a few shots!
England were a blunt tool but Steve Borthwick will have an immediate impact
I played against Steve Borthwick and I know him and I think he’s going to have an immediate effect on this English side. They’ll change the way they play. England were pretty blunt under Eddie Jones trying to overpower people. That works to a certain point. I just think they weren’t playing much rugby.
They’ve got a lot of pace and good footballers if they change the way they play, if they’re open to that.
If Steve Borthwick can get them believing again and get their confidence up they can be a real handful. So I think England could be real contenders.
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