Former Munster and Ireland flanker David Wallace has had his say on what he feels makes this current Irish squad under Joe Schmidt one of, if not, the best the country has ever seen.
Ireland had an unprecedented year in terms of success in 2018, winning the Six Nations Grand Slam, a Test series in Australia for the first time since 1979, which topped off the campaign with victory against the All Blacks on home soil.
Schmidt’s side are hot on the heels of New Zealand in the World Rugby rankings as they look to defend their Grand Slam title in the upcoming Six Nations.
Speaking at the launch of Virgin Media’s Spring schedule on Tuesday, Wallace explained that it is the clinical nature of Ireland’s play which makes them one of the most impressive sides in world rugby.
“What impresses me the most is how they’re so clinical,” began Wallace.
“That comes from coaching and the limited, intense time they have with Joe Schmidt. Obviously, they have to be doing it with their provinces as well but the fact that they’re able to hold onto the ball and frustrate teams and then they’re clinical as well, not only at the breakdown but when they have to execute a move they usually back it up.
“You hear stories about something not working in training two or three times but they do it in a match. They switch on and I think that’s one of the things Joe brings to this squad.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all Joe, it’s the players as well, they’re the guys out there, but he puts them under so much pressure on the training paddock that when it comes to a match there’s a bit more shackles off and sometimes it can come off better.
“That’s part of the process but yeah it’s how they’re so clinical and when they run their plays they pull that trigger very, very well and they have the talent, the expertise and the leadership to be able to call the right thing at the right time and everyone trusts each other to do their job.”