Rugby

The English Media Are Bemused That Joe Schmidt's Job Could Be Under Threat

The English Media Are Bemused That Joe Schmidt's Job Could Be Under Threat

We've seen the grumbles growing in recent weeks. Some sections of the Irish media and Irish rugby following aren't enamoured with Joe Schmidt as the head coach of the national team. Despite only having a points differential of -1 in just his third Six Nations - having won the first two - there are influential members of the Irish media calling for change.

And the English can't understand it.

Steve James, the rugby correspondent of the Telegraph is completely baffled at the notion, before stumbling on a potential cause of what there are calls for Schmidt's head:

So we have to be careful when assessing the state of Irish rugby from this side of the water, because some of their most-quoted columnists, particularly Neil Francis and George Hook, seem in a perpetual state of ire and outrage.

As amusing as that line is, James does delve into the topic - focusing on Hook's thoughts in the aftermath of Ireland's pathetic loss to France that there has been a "complete absence of analysis by the media." Hook rants against Schmidt highlighting the 'privileged' ride Schmidt has had so far:

He has led a charmed life. It has been forgotten that Michael Cheika handed him a winning team at Leinster and the work of Eddie O’Sullivan and Declan Kidney gave Ireland the winning habit, with three Triple Crowns and one Grand Slam. The RWC and this year’s Six Nations represent the team that Joe built and the results are there for all to see.

James needs to be credited, because that might be enough for some. But he chooses to investigate further, but not before commenting on the harshness of those words from Hook:

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Ouch. The first thing to say is that it is indeed a rare evisceration of Schmidt as a coach. He is highly regarded almost everywhere. The word I have from New Zealand is that he would be above Warren Gatland and Vern Cotter in the hit list should a replacement for Steve Hansen be sought now.

While James does ultimately think that England will beat Ireland next weekend, he points to the form of Johnny Sexton and the injury list "that even The Lancet might consider too lengthy for publication" as more plausible reasons for Ireland's struggles - not Joe Schmidt.

but the truth is that Hook et al are likely to be sharpening their pencils again next weekend.

[The Telegraph]

See Also: The Notion That Joe Schmidt's Job Should Be Under Threat Is Farcical

Conor O'Leary
Article written by
"That's what." - She.

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