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Matt O'Connor Learns That No One Messes With Joe Schmidt

Matt O'Connor Learns That No One Messes With Joe Schmidt
Conor O'Leary
By Conor O'Leary
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There are many theories as to what lead to Matt O'Connor's departure from his position as Leinster's head coach. It could be down to the failure to make the Pro 12 playoffs, or it could be down to the unattractive style of play or his lack of trust in youngsters, but there is one other working theory.

Matt O'Connor was quite vocal in his opposition to the IRFU's player welfare programme designed to get the best play from the Irish internationals for the national team. With Leinster contributing over fifteen players to every Irish squad, O'Connor felt annoyed at being forced to rest some of his best players.

Things got ugly when Joe Schmidt responded to O'Connor's complaints, pointing out how seemless Leinster operated under Schmidt when the internationals were away compared to Leinster losing games they should have won under O'Connor without the big names:

Two years ago [under Schmidt] through the Six Nations period Leinster got 18 out of 20 available points, last year [under O'Connor] they got 19 out of 20 available points, this year they got nine out of 20 available points.


While there is no official reason to suggest there is any IRFU involvement in the mutual parting of ways between O'Connor and Leinster. But it is very interesting to note that the first person in Ireland to go against Joe Schmidt publicly loses his job at the end of the season.

That's the suggestion in the Irish Independent this morning:

Once Schmidt had spoken, O'Connor's authority had been undermined and when defeat to Ulster was followed by an insipid performance against Treviso, the tide turned. Taking on a room full of journalists is one thing, taking on the formidable might of the national coach is another.

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See Also: Joe Schmidt Is Having None Of Matt O'Connor's Complaining
See Also: Here's How Leinster Fans Reacted To The Big Matt O'Connor News
See Also: 11 Of The Most Likely Contenders To Be The Next Leinster Head Coach

[Irish Independent]

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