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George Hook Has Come Out All Guns Blazing At Joe Schmidt

George Hook Has Come Out All Guns Blazing At Joe Schmidt
By PJ Browne

Rather than celebrate the glory of Connacht's PRO12 title win on Saturday, in his Irish Independent column today, George Hook chose to take further aim at his favoured target Joe Schmidt.

The word fairy tale has regularly been used in relation to Connacht's season. Such was the overwhelming nature of their play in Murrayfield on Saturday, this was a fairy tale which ended with Cinderella machine-gunning down her wicked stepmother and sisters.

Connacht were thrilling, Leinster were not. Connacht were ambitious, Leinster were not.

The reason for this, according to Hook, is Leinster's Irish players being contaminated by Schmidt's conservative gameplan at international level.

Last week, Schmidt named his 32-man squad for Ireland's tour of South Africa next month. Hook believes the selection of Leinster stalwarts over the Connacht new guns is sufficient evidence to label him as the 'worst coach/selector in Irish rugby history'.

Schmidt may well be the worst coach/selector in Irish rugby history. Yesterday exposed, for all to see, the paucity of his thinking. Kearney the elder and Dave Kearney ahead of Tiernan O'Halloran and Matt Healy belied belief. Just as bad was Stuart Olding and Luke Marshall getting the nod ahead of Garry Ringrose and Stuart McCloskey.

This summer, Robbie Henshaw departs the Sportsground and heads east to the RDS where Hook believes he, along with Garry Ringrose, will 'wither on the vine'.

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The weekend's game has also led Hook to conclude it is time for Schmidt's head to fall and Pat Lam to be installed as Ireland head coach.

David Nucifora, the performance director, and Schmidt should have their contracts ended and Pat Lam promoted to national coach.

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