Warren Gatland can stand down. After years of carrying the torch alone for the practice of the pre-match tweaking of Irish noses, he has been joined in this cause by an Antipodean brother in arms, one Eddie Jones of England.
Eddie hasn't been shy in hammering the theme that the Joe Schmidt's Ireland like to put boot on ball early and often these days. Indeed, he has been hammering this theme with such abandon, he has made Warren Gatland look positively coy on the subject.
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He compared Ireland to an 'Aussie Rules' team and said that if England can win the Aussie Rules battle, it'll carry them a long way towards victory.
They kick 70 per cent of their ball away. If they want to do that, good luck to them. It has worked for them. It is not the way I think you should play rugby but it has been successful for them, so good luck.
This stat didn't survive a fact-check from the Daily Telegraph. In the opening two games of the championship, Ireland have kicked less ball than any other side.
Today, he delivered his most bizarre fusillade, wondering aloud about the possible fears of Johnny Sexton's parents, watching him play.
Balls.ie spoke to Mick Galwey today, mainly about Simon Geoghegan, Kyran Bracken and Ireland's famous win in Twickenham in 1994 (read about here), but also about Ireland's upcoming trip to Twickenham and the noises that Eddie Jones has been making in the build-up to Saturday.
That'd be Eddie Jones, typical Australian. He's just trying to put stuff in our heads. What he wants us to do is probably run the ball at them. But I don't think he'll catch out Joe Schmidt with that one. I think Joe Schmidt has been around too long. That'd be a typical Eddie Jones comment. I'd imagine he doesn't want us to kick the ball a lot. So, I think we should even kick the ball more to upset them.
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