Rugby

TV3 Analyst Highlights 'Huge Issue' For Joe Schmidt

TV3 Analyst Highlights 'Huge Issue' For Joe Schmidt

Speaking on TV3 after Ireland's 44-10 win against Romania, Matt Williams highlighted what he feels is a major issue for Joe Schmidt.

The former Ulster head coach believes that Jared Payne's form at outside centre is so poor, Schmidt should consider other options.

I think we've got huge issues at outside centre. Darren Cave has put his case forward.

I think it's really tough to follow Brian [O'Driscoll], he's one of the greatest players of all time, but I don't think that Jared's in good form.

He's making really poor decisions. He's kicking the ball all the time and he's kicking very badly. He's not making breaks. He's running across field.

So, you can tick just about every box for doing things wrong as an outside centre in attack.

I certainly do not believe that for us to go deep in the tournament that's going to be good enough. We have to get some centres that are going to show the ability to go through teams.

Right now, none of these centres, with the exception of Darren Cave - and we've got to take into account that it was late in the game, the opposition was poor, there were some sin bins - but he made two clean breaks and no one else is doing that.

They started him at inside centre but as soon as he shifted to outside centre - which is his position, he's a natural outside centre - he was a different player.

Peter Stringer agreed with Williams, saying that right now, Payne's use of possession is frustrating.

You've got options. Earlsy produced a performance today on the wing, you've got to look at him.

From my point of view looking at it over the last few weeks in terms of Jared Payne, it's frustrating.

In attacking positions kicking the ball away, inaccurate kicking, kicks going out on the full. Rather than holding onto the ball and being able to create something on the edges.

13 is where your main attacking play comes from and it's just been frustrating to see that.

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Keith Wood felt that the Ulster player has been solid defensibly but could not disagree with either Williams or Stringer when it comes to Payne as an attacking force.

I find it very hard to argue with the two lads. I don't think that he's fully delivered.

See Also: Keith Earls Broke A World Cup Record With His First Half Try

Ireland Player Ratings: Schmidt Has Some Selection Dilemmas On His Hands

PJ Browne
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