The Irish have a challenging draw — 2019 champions South Africa and Scotland in their pool and then a prospective quarter-final against New Zealand or France.
The Irish players and fans are painfully conscious that when it comes to the Planet Cup they have come up quick — never ever going beyond the final eight.
With 22 wins in their final 24 Tests, like a historic series win in New Zealand and now the Six Nations Grand Slam, they are in a really sturdy position to go the entire way.
Right here AFP Sports picks out 3 components that bode properly for their probabilities in France later this year:
Inclusivity essential to Farrell’s achievement
“I was chatting to Peter O’Mahony, absolutely everyone talks about how excellent an atmosphere it is right here, and it is not rubbish,” commented veteran prop Dave Kilcoyne prior to the win more than France.
Therein lies a strong element in how Andy Farrell has constructed a formidable squad more than 4 years — there is discomfort and disappointment but they are counter-balanced by inclusivity.
Farrell, 47, has spoken about getting approachable, that his door is usually open to the players.
“The ideal point about him is he hasn’t changed one particular bit from going from assistant to head coach,” stated Johnny Sexton following Ireland’s win more than England to seal the Grand Slam.
“He’s nonetheless really well-known, even with the lads he does not choose.”
Beneath Farrell’s predecessor Joe Schmidt while they enjoyed achievement — the pinnacle the 2018 Grand Slam — the New Zealander never ever shook off habits formed as a college teacher and ran the squad with an iron fist.
The indicators have been there early on that Farrell was a man who was confident in the ‘journey’ he had mapped out and was unafraid to take challenging choices — highlighted by his taking off a clearly angry Sexton for the duration of the defeat to France in Paris in 2020.
Ruffled feathers have considering that been smoothed displaying how adept Farrell is at man management which for an intense campaign like the Planet Cup is a priceless high quality.
Toughing it out
A Grand Slam accomplished with 4 bonus points wins from 5 and beating all their opponents by 13 points or extra would seem to have been a stroll in the park — it was something but.
Andy Farrell admitted that only ten-9 up against a 14 man England side it was “squeaky bum” time — but after once more they located a way to place themselves back on the ideal path.
This resilience came to the fore when they lost 3 players in the initially-half against Scotland — “the entire group was laughing simply because it was organised chaos at half-time” stated Farrell — and then their replacement hooker Ronan Kelleher just before the 50th minute mark.
Prop Cian Healy had to fill in at hooker and flanker Josh van der Flier took the line-out throws — they nonetheless battled their way to a 22-7 win.
“As far as character and fight and want for every single other, that is the ideal game I’ve ever been involved in,” stated Farrell.
This has been a characteristic of Farrell’s side, a strength that will stand them in excellent stead for the rigours of the Planet Cup
Spoilt for option
Time was if Ireland lost a player from a beginning XV the lack of depth left them exposed — as in the 2015 Planet Cup quarter-final when a side without the need of the injured Johnny Sexton, Paul O’Connell and Peter O’Mahony have been steam-rollered by Argentina.
Andy Farrell, even though, has rectified that in his 4 years at the helm for aside from introducing the likes of now common starters Caelan Doris, Jamison Gibson-Park and Mack Hansen he has also a welter of alternatives.
A case in point is second row forward Ryan Baird — fourth option at the outset of the tournament the 23-year-old was provided the beginning part against England due to injuries to Tadhg Beirne and Iain Henderson.
He did not flinch and made a essential turnover in the second-half which lifted the spirits of his group-mates.
“I believed he was immense in that second-half,” stated Farrell.
For Johnny Sexton that form of efficiency adds to the competitors for locations at the Planet Cup which can only be a constructive.
“That is what we want come Planet Cup time. We want 40-45 players all at the similar level fighting for positions.”
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