Tuesday's edition of The Times featured an article comparing Joe Schmidt and Eddie Jones ahead of this weekend's game between Ireland and England in Dublin.
The London paper's chief rugby correspondent Owen Slot placed the two as authoritarians living in the modern world of soft touch coaching. The hairdryer treatment is out, the arm around the shoulder is in.
In one notable paragraph, buried strangely low in the piece for such an inflammatory piece of information, Slot claimed that Irish players refer to their Kiwi head coach as 'Schmidtler'.
They are different, too. Jones is a fast-quipping Aussie with a readier sense of humour; Schmidt runs more of a nanny state which the players joke about by referring to him, behind his back, as “Schmidtler”, yet he still wins utter respect. Jones believes wholeheartedly in empowering his players; Schmidt tries to take the power away from them and micro-manages their every move. England looks more fun but, then again, what doesn’t look fun when you have won 18 in a row?
The notion that players believe Schmidt to have traits akin to Adolf Hitler has been denied by the Irish camp.
Asked by Derek Foley of the Irish Daily Star what he made of the article, scrum coach Greg Feek said that perhaps The Times had become confused with another nickname by which Schmidt is known, the far less provocative 'Schmidty'.
I don't make anything of that really. Some media can come up with stuff just to be controversial.
Like you said, I've probably known Joe a lot longer than, 'what paper was it again?', than that paper has. Maybe they got it confused with 'Schmidty'.
Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE