Former Welsh prop Adam Jones gave a fascinating insight into how intense an Irish training session under Joe Schmidt can be after the 34-year old experienced it with Harlequins in 2015.
Jones spent over a decade as one of the key members of a strong Welsh side which won three Six Nations Grand Slam titles but retired from the international game in 2015 before joining Harlequins.
During his time there, he and the Harlequins side joined up with Ireland for a training session mid-way through the pool stages of the 2015 World Cup.
The 38-year old outlined that it was fascinating to be able to watch the Irish team, lead by the duo of Joe Schmidt and Johnny Sexton, and explained that the level of detail was something he “hadn’t seen before.
“We trained against Ireland in 2015, I had the full Irish kit, Rala sorted me out with a track-suit and stuff — Paulie took the piss a bit.
“You could see how (Joe) was. If you’re not doing exactly what he says, he’d stop the session and the detail was something I hadn’t seen before.
“His eyes were Johnny Sexton. It was essentially those two coaching the team, which was unbelievable to watch. Because a lot drills when you’re coaching is player led, but when they were running plays and patterns he was on the field telling them what to do.
“And if it wasn’t done, then he’d stop, bollock the boys – which was amazing, you don’t see much bollocking done any more, but he wasn’t scared to do that.
“The detail and the dynamic between him and Sexton was interesting to watch.”
Irish training may have been the first time Jones got to witness Schmidt’s coaching first hand, but his experience with outhalf Sexton began long before that.
Jones outlined that during the last week of the Lions tour in 2013, of which he and Sexton were a part of, was the first time he saw the 2018 World Rugby Player of the Year lose his cool with a player.
“It was a pull-out from the back of a maul,” recalled Jones.
“We had Jamie (Roberts) coming flat, (Richard Hibbard) was supposed to play it out the back to Johnny. Hibbs couldn’t quite get it right. And he went at Hibbs.
“Because he knew everyone’s role, because Hibbs didn’t know his role it really pissed him off. You can see it in Schmidt, the detail around it.
“(Normally) international rugby probably doesn’t go into that much detail because you don’t have that much time. But what I’ve seen of them, some of the intricacies around the plays are down to a fine art and that’s what makes him such a good coach.”
Former Irish International Tommy Bowe and former Welsh International Adam Jones caught up over a pint of the black stuff ahead of this weekend’s highly anticipated final round of the 2019 GUINNESS SIX NATIONS Wales v Ireland fixture.
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