Rugby

Andrew Trimble Lays Out The Not-So-Subtle Genius Of Joe Schmidt

Andrew Trimble Lays Out The Not-So-Subtle Genius Of Joe Schmidt

Much like his former teammate Tommy Bowe, Andrew Trimble has been coming to terms with life after rugby. Whereas Bowe memorably went chatting to the likes of Paul McGrath, A. P. McCoy and Derval O'Rourke in search of answers, Trimble's adjustment to civilian life has been somewhat more understated.

Only 33-years-old, Trimble nevertheless achieved a great deal throughout a rugby career admittedly blighted by numerous unfortunate injuries.

Enduring a difficult 2017/18, the Ulster man revealed in an interview with The Times that he had largely come to hate the demands of professional sport as his body increasingly became incapable of dealing with them.

Reflecting now on a career that saw him represent Ireland on 70 occasions, Andrew Trimble has been taking stock. As shall be the case with many Irish internationals of this period you'd expect, Joe Schmidt played a defining role in extracting the very best of what Trimble had to offer.

Not that he always saw it that way, however.

Breaking into an Irish side under the management of Eddie O'Sullivan in 2005, Trimble's emergence coincided with an incredible era of international success.

However, with arrival of Schmidt in 2013, Trimble was opened up to an altogether different experience of the coach-player dynamic. What with Schmidt's relentless search for perfection, Trimble wasn't necessarily sure his face fitted in with this new regime, and the New Zealander's occasional temptation to impart his instructions with plenty of stick, but not much carrot.

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“Initially I hated that. It embarrassed me. I wasn’t sure I was cut out for stuff like that.

“It ended up that this exposure to difficult, critical feedback was exactly what I wanted. The thing about Joe is that he leaves you in absolutely no doubt about what needs to happen.

"In defence, if you switched off, he’d give you a hard time. When that first happened, I thought, ‘this guy doesn’t rate me’. He was a little bit like Mr Miyagi in The Karate Kid.

I was being shaped, moulded into the type of winger he wanted and I didn’t even realise I was taking the type of feedback on board that he wanted me to take.”

Initially hesitant regarding this new treatment, Trimble can now admit that it helped him to flourish.

“When I got selected for the first game of the 2014 Six Nations, I didn’t expect it. And that was when the realisation sunk in that Joe doesn’t give everyone the attention he gave me.

"If he thinks people can raise their game and give a little bit more, he’ll work on them."

Looking now from the outside in, Andrew Trimble has little doubt that the former Leinster coach will be well placed to lead Ireland where they've never before been in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

See Also: The Overwhelmingly Positive Reaction To Brian O'Driscoll's 'Shoulder To Shoulder' Doc

Arthur James O'Dea

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