Rugby

Jared Payne Is Playing Mind Games With Reporters About What Position He'll Play

Jared Payne Is Playing Mind Games With Reporters About What Position He'll Play

If you pay me enough, I’ll tell you.

The coy, but excellent response Jared Payne gave reports when asked what position he will be playing in on Saturday.

By now, Joe Schmidt will have told his squad what the team will be for the weekend. Schmidt likes to have his team sorted and training together for the week before a test match - before he announces to the rest of the world what his plans are at the latest allowable moment.

Ireland's team for Italy is one of the least predictable teams in Schmidt's era. Jared Payne's return to fitness, combined with Rob Kearney's injury issues, and Stuart McCloskey's good debut means that Schmidt has options. The entire Irish rugby fandom wants to see Jared Payne at full-back where he's so devastating for Ulster.

Will it happen? We don't know. Payne was extremely good today at delivering interesting soundbites without giving away any information at all.

He did say he expects Schmidt to stick with the impressive young pairing of McCloskey and Henshaw, "Joe would be silly not to".

As for where Payne wants to play, he's excited by the challenge of facing the Six Nations form 13 in Michele Campagnaro - but would relish the opportunity to "be at the back running around". He's aware of the hype surrounding his performances for Ulster at full-back but cautiously states:

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Tearing it up for Ulster at Oyonnax is a bit different to tearing it up in a test match. It’s a massive jump in levels.

Schmidt would be proud.

[Irish Independent]

See Also: There's One Important Point Being Overlooked About Why Jared Payne Shouldn't Play 13 Anymore

Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Conor O'Leary
Article written by
"That's what." - She.

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