Hands up who's had a speculative wager on Ireland winning the World Cup. Well your not the only one. Former England centre Will Greenwood has been backing both Ireland and England to take home the Webb Ellis Cup at the end of October.
I started putting money on Ireland for the World Cup at 25/1 about eight months ago. I’m backing Ireland to win their group, and optimistically backing England to win theirs, so that those two would meet in the semi-final. So if you back them both, you’ve got a pretty nice price on one of them in the final.
That’s partly my thinking, but also I believe Ireland have a great chance. Schmidt is a very shrewd man, you can see with some of the moves he created that armed his Leinster side when they were winning big tournaments, big trophies, big matches.
Reading between the lines, 'started to put money on' would suggest that Greenwood continued to put a few bob on Joe Schmidt leading Ireland to glory and it must be said he did quite well to get us at 25/1 considering 10/1 is about the best you can hope for at the moment.
And it is Schmidt whom Greenwood believes could be the decisive factor in Ireland going beyond where we previously have in the World Cup. (The Clive Woodward reference is supposed to be complimentary, we think)
What Schmidt has done in the last year or so, it's the kind of record that Clive (Woodward) used to put together with England in the years leading up to 2003.
You start building that sort of track-record you have to be earmarked as one of the best coaches in the Test arena. There's no doubt with what he's done he'd have to be absolutely marked out as having the respect of all the other international coaches.