Schmidt: Jared Payne Was Never A Consideration To Replace Rob Kearney At Full-Back

Schmidt: Jared Payne Was Never A Consideration To Replace Rob Kearney At Full-Back

It was the move that Irish fans were screaming for, but apparently Schmidt never even considered it.

After seeing Payne tear it up for Ulster at full-back, he has been confined to outside centre which limits his attacking potential. Schmidt clearly favours Payne's defensive solidity and familiarity with Robbie Henshaw, but it seems harsh to just drop Stuart McCloskey after a solid debut.

Schmidt was presented with an opportunity to keep McCloskey in the team, and have Payne brought back in when Rob Kearney went down injured again, but the Kiwi-born coach has gone for Simon Zebo's attacking talents at 15 over McCloskey.

When asked if he considered Payne at fullback at all, Schmidt responded in the negative:

We haven’t trained with Jared at 15. It would be a big step to suddenly change that.

Rob trained on Monday and Simon has played plenty of fullback for us. What we lack with Jared not in midfield has been pretty evident, particularly on the edge with his defensive work. He did a fantastic job against France and it’s an opportunity for him to again control that defensive line. If we take him out of there, it’s something else we have to find coverage for.


There you go. Looks like Payne will be confined to outside centre for the rest of his international career under Schmidt.


See Also: We're Falling Out Of Love With The Irish Rugby Team, And Joe Schmidt Is A Big Reason Why

See Also: We're Not Buying Joe Schmidt's Excuse For Picking Ian Madigan Over Paddy Jackson

Conor O'Leary
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"That's what." - She.

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