Home Rugby “It Put The Fear Of God In Him!” – Cave On Schmidt’s Selection Process

“It Put The Fear Of God In Him!” – Cave On Schmidt’s Selection Process

Ulster centre, Darren Cave, has described the process of how Ireland head coach, Joe Schmidt, informs players on whether or not they have made his squad. 

The 31-year-old has made 11 appearances for his country, including the summer tours of New Zealand in 2012 and the US and Canada in 2013, and an appearance in the Autumn Internationals the following year.

While some players are guaranteed to hear good news from Schmidt ahead of a tournament, for others the process involves an anxious wait, which Cave described to Pundit Arena. 

“When you’re on the fringe of a squad, say you’re in a group of about 50 players that are in with a shout, normally if you get a phone call, it’s bad news and an email is good news,  that’s normally the way it works.”

Darren Cave

With the World Cup just a matter of months away, many players will be hoping to receive a similar email, informing them that they are on the plane to Japan, but that is not always the case.

Cave hilariously recalled an incident prior to the last World Cup in England when Tommy Bowe received a phone call from Schmidt, convinced he was about to hear bad news.

“I remember Tommy Bowe saying before the World Cup in 2015, he got a phone call with good news and it put the fear of God in him!”

“So his phone rang – Joe Schmidt – and he thought ‘I’m not going to the World Cup’. By the time he answered, he just wanted a bit of a general chat with him as he told him he was going so that’s quite unusual.”

The New Zealander has named a 38-man squad for the opening rounds of his final Six Nations campaign as Ireland head coach with first-time call-ups, Tom Farrell, Jack Carty, and Caolin Blade, hoping to earn caps.

The team to face England on Saturday will be named tomorrow afternoon in Carton House.

Watch the full clip with Darren Cave below:


Volkswagen is a proud partner of Irish Rugby. Volkswagen will have two fan zones at the Aviva this Saturday, on Lansdowne Road and inside the Aviva Stadium grounds, and fans are invited to test their rugby skills to win great prizes. More information can be found on Volkswagen Ireland’s social channels.

About Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. She is a former reporter with Sporting Limerick and is a huge fan of the GAA. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter