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Andy Goode Feels This Ireland Team Lacks Star Power Of Years Gone By

Andy Goode Feels This Ireland Team Lacks Star Power Of Years Gone By
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Ireland take on England in the Six Nations this weekend, and while there won't be a championship on the line, any meeting between the two nations is a big occasion.

Both will be hoping to end a largely disappointing tournament on a high. Ireland have played some poor rugby at times, although they did look improved in attack in the victory over Scotland. England were also back to near their normal levels in a win over a very good France team.

It will be interesting to see how that translates to this game. One thing is for certain is that Andy Farrell's men will have to improve from their most recent meetings against Eddie Jones' side.

Speaking to Balls ahead of his appearance on The Takeaway with Chicago Town after the game on Saturday, former England international Andy Goode said that while Ireland had not performed to a high level, it may a welcome change of tact in that they could be building slowly towards the next Word Cup in 2023.


You can see how Ireland are playing. Given the history of how they played under Joe Schmidt before that, it was very detailed, organised and effective at times.

They've changed the coach, Andy Farrell has been upgraded to the boss and Mike Catt has come in as attack coach, so that feeling of what they knew under Joe Schmidt and how it worked in between World Cups was pretty good. You're now trying to create a new feeling...

From an Irish perspective, you've always gone really well in between World Cups. Then you get to World Cups and we all know the history of how Ireland have fared there, it has always been an underachievement. The hopes are that you can get to a semi-final and maybe a final.

Maybe it's a good thing that Ireland are putting in these learning blocks at the minute. They're not sparkling, but they will build towards 2023 in France and that crescendo.

There are always going to be questions when you're not winning Six Nations, what you're doing wrong and what needs to change. As pundits and supporters we think we know the answers...

There are always going to be questions around the regeneration of the squad, what happens with Sexton after he retires. Is he going to to the next World Cup?

Sexton was exemplary in the win at Murrayfield, but questions do remain over his long-term future with Ireland. The Leinster player will turn 36-years old later this year and will be 38 by the time the next World Cup rolls around.

Despite this, he remains one of the few Ireland players that would worry the opposition ahead of the game.


Goode believes that this Irish squad does not have the wow factor that it had in years gone by and is more of a collective effort.

I think it's more of a collective. There are some world class individuals in the squad. You only have to look at the way Tadhg Beirne is playing in the back row to see his impact on the game.

I think one of the issues around Ireland is that there's never really been a player with an unbelievable amount of physicality where you can just pin your hat to him and say 'give him the ball', like Manu Tuilagi does for England at times.

They've got systematic players that fit into a culture and a way of playing really well, it's more of an effective team performance that you're worried about...

There's no Drico (Brian O'Driscoll) at the minute, is there? There's no Gordon Darcy, those threats they had back then like Paul O'Connell up front. James Ryan has been fantastic for Ireland since he broke through but he's out injured as well.

Anyone that can run at 20 stone like Tadhg Furlong is and can step the way he can, he will always be a player to watch out for.

But I think it's more of a collective than the individual you look at. It is probably the same with England as well.

SEE ALSO: Six Changes As Ireland Team To Play England Is Named

ireland team to play england 2021 six nations

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