Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has responded to comments that his side will “bore the sh*t” out of England when the pair clash at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
England’s defence coach John Mitchell had outlined that he felt Ireland’s resilience would “bore” his side, but was keen to stress that Schmidt’s men are “arguably the best in the world.”
Speaking at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday just two days out from Ireland’s massive Six Nations opener against their old rivals, Schmidt outlined that he feels the game will be anything but boring as Mitchell had claimed.
“I think it’s incredibly important to respect your opponents, and to acknowledge what abilities they bring to the game.
“I don’t think for a moment that it’s going to be boring. I think it’s going tog be exhilarating, I think it’s going to be edge of the seat.
“Because I don’t think there’s a huge amount between the teams.
“I do think people are going to be entertained.”
Ireland know that they face a tough task against Eddie Jones’ charges but they will have the distinct advantage of the home crowd at the Aviva Stadium behind them, something that Schmidt admits is a massive bonus.
“One of the great things about the Aviva Stadium is the entertainment is partially provided by those outside the pitch supporting the team in the manner that they do.
“The support that we got in those last few minutes last time England were here, was huge. It was as loud as I’d heard it since 2013 probably when the All Blacks were here.
“And probably the loudest I’ve heard since was the All Blacks in November, when those last phases of play until Retallick put that ball down, it was huge.
“The players feed off that excitement, and it’s almost reciprocated by the crowd.
“And we know we’re going to have ea big crowd that they are going to be incredibly supportive, and at the same time respectful of our team and our opponents.
Schmidt was also quizzed on the nature of some of the comments directed at his side including the boring jab as well as Eddie Jones’ “bat-phone” quip directed at Johnny Sexton but outlined they don’t distract him from the job at hand.
“I don’t really know everything they’ve been saying.
“I heard the boring comment, I heard the bat phone comment.
“I don’t know what else they’ve been saying.
“All I can keep doing is keep my head down, keep making sure that I try to find the fine margins and try to support players as best I can, to get them as well-prepared as I can.
“It doesn’t distract me because it’s not immediately relevant to what I’m doing.
“I’ve known Mitch for a long time, so it will be good to catch up with him.
“And then banter can be face-to-face, and if there’s something that needs to be said, it can be said, and it will be said with a light-hearted bit of repartee I think.”