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One Of Joe Schmidt's Most Disputed Tactics Is Being Copied In Super Rugby

One Of Joe Schmidt's Most Disputed Tactics Is Being Copied In Super Rugby
By Conor O'Leary

Joe Schmidt actively admits that he overthinks every aspect of how his team's play - from tactics to team selection. There has been some questioning why he plays a backline predominantly made up of players who have played full-back in their careers - especially the midfield dup of Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne.

It leads some people to think that it's for Ireland's kicking game - and that having more players who have aerial skills means that they can dictate the kicking game.

At a time when the northern hemisphere is being heavily criticised for not following the tactics of the southern hemisphere - it would seem odd for a Super Rugby team to copy from a Joe Schmidt hymn sheet.

But that's exactly what the Waratahs have done.

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Like Henshaw, Kurtley Beale started out his career at full-back and was devastatingly good - but now seems to have found a home at second-five eighth. In a similar manner to Payne, Folau is being played away from his natural position at full-back.

It's officially Folau's first start at outside centre, but it may not be because of Schmidt that this is happening.

The Tahs are in the midst of an injury crisis at the moment, with regular centres Rob Horne injured and Adam Ashley Cooper departed to Bordeaux. They could have put Matt Carraro into midfield, but have chosen to have kept him on the wing. Another option is to have put young gun Andrew Kellaway at 13 where he says he prefers - but head coach Daryl Gibson has chosen to give Kellaway his first ever start.

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A potential move to 13 has been on the cards for over a year for Folau, so it will be interesting to see if it leads to more up-and-unders for the Waratahs.

See Also: Schmidt: Jared Payne Was Never A Consideration To Play Full-Back

See Also: Israel Folau Is Here To Restore Your Faith In Sports Stars With One Classy Act

Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

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