Rugby

Stephen Ferris Hopes Players Will Be Rejuvenated After Schmidt Departure

Stephen Ferris Hopes Players Will Be Rejuvenated After Schmidt Departure

All eyes will on Andy Farrell this weekend as Ireland attempt to bounce back after a torrid showing at the Rugby World Cup. The new head coach has not completely overhauled the team for the opener against Scotland, making a only a couple of subtle changes.

Caelan Doris is set to make his debut in the back row, while Jordan Larmour starts at fullback. Andrew Conway and Rob Herring have also been drafted in, but elsewhere it will be much of the same.

The main difference may come in the attitude of the players. Things looked to have gone stale at the end of the Joe Schmidt era and it will be interesting to see if Andy Farrell can bring back the enthusiasm that had been lacking.

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Speaking on The Buildup podcast, former Ireland international Stephen Ferris said that the Ireland players were 'walking on eggshells' around their former coach.

When asked about Stuart Lancaster's comments that Irish players were a lot quieter than their counterparts from overseas, Ferris said this may have come from Schmidt ruling with an iron fist.

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I think most of that has come from Joe Schmidt.

The lads were shitting themselves going into a Monday morning review in case they made a mistake during the match and they were going to get ripped out in front of everybody and made an example of.

They were walking on eggshells during the week in training. If they dropped a ball, they were looking over their shoulder to see if Joe had seen it.

Of course, if he doesn't see it in training he's going to see it in the video analysis anyway. Some of the stories over the years on the way Joe goes about things, he is a bit different.

Yes he got the best out of the squad at times and the accolades he achieved and trophies he won with Ireland was amazing, but for them to evolve they needed to mix it up.

Lads need to go out and enjoy themselves and have smiled on their faces. We didn't see that in the Rugby World Cup, we didn't see that at all.

When you're enjoying it you perform better.

To listen to Stephen's full Six Nations preview subscribe to The Buildup Podcast here.

SEE ALSO: Ireland U20s Announce Strong Team For Six Nations Opener

Gary Connaughton

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