Ireland

Schmidt sees next two matches as yardstick for Ireland's World Cup chances

By Nick Purewal, | 2mo
They host Argentina and New Zealand on successive Saturdays.

Joe Schmidt believes the next two matches will hand Ireland a clear World Cup 2019 yardstick.

Ireland host Argentina and back-to-back world champions New Zealand in Dublin on successive Saturdays, with head coach Schmidt expecting a stern battle against both nations.

Argentina dumped Ireland out of the 2015 World Cup with a fine 43-20 victory in the quarter-finals, while the All Blacks have topped the world rankings since 2009.

Ireland could overhaul the All Blacks into world number one spot before the year is out, but only with victory in Dublin on November 17 – and Schmidt knows his side could be facing a defining few days ahead.

Asked how telling the next 10 days could prove with next year's World Cup in mind, Schmidt replied: "Yes, where we are right now, it will tell us a lot and I think regardless of what happens in the next 10 days, everything is a benchmark.

"In particular, this is our first southern hemisphere game of this series and you saw in Australia (in June), the way that southern hemisphere rugby is played is worth a fair bit of freedom.

"The Argentines would probably be a little bit more combative at the ruck than some of the other teams.

"So we're going to have to really be on our mettle otherwise guys like (Agustin) Creevy and (Pablo) Matera will get on that ball very quickly."

Ireland lost a glut of frontline players to injury for that last-eight loss to Argentina at the last World Cup, with Johnny Sexton ruled out and replaced by Ian Madigan just days before the Cardiff clash.

Head coach Schmidt has diligently built Ireland's depth since that day, in a bid to ensure no such possible repeat come the next global gathering in Japan.

Schmidt encapsulated how much has changed since that World Cup loss to the Pumas as much in terms of Sexton's fitness as anything else.

Asked to chart the differences between facing Argentina in 2015 and now, Schimdt said: "Well our number 10 has trained all week; he hasn't had a 20-minute intro to run the team and starting six games in the previous 12 months.

"I thought that was really tough and I thought the kid really stood up and did a great job. We got back into the game after being hesitant.

Players like Sean O'Brien have a contagious confidence, according to Joe Schmidt (David Davies/PA)

"No matter how much you try to build that confidence, it's men like Sean O'Brien that have a contagious confidence.

"He's robust, he's experienced and people see him do things on the pitch and think 'yeah, I can get into this game on the back of that'.

"We didn't quite have those players that day, losing the likes of Sean O'Brien, Paul O'Connell, Peter O'Mahony and Johnny (Sexton).

"One of the great things that's happened to us is that we've had to make last-minute changes a number of times in the last three years.

"The players are incredibly excited about what's coming up and they're nervous about Argentina and how good they are. So there's a bit of anxiety floating around which is not necessarily the worst thing."



amp_article_341007 : Database Data restored...  : 
last updated article - 2018-11-09 06:31:55:
html db last update - 2019-01-16 05:43:37 :

ex - 7200 : read : read cache amp html

Click here for more stories about Joe Schmidt

Click here for more stories about Ireland

Share this article now:
Loading ...

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411
Scroll for more - Tap for full version

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona19134253203343
2Atletico MadridAtletico19108127131438
3Sevilla1996431201133
4Real Madrid1910362824433
5AlavesAlaves199552219332
6Getafe197752116528
7Real Betis197572223-126
8Real Sociedad197482322125
9GironaGirona195952123-224
10Espanyol197392127-624
11Valencia1941141717023
12Levante196583035-523
13Athletic Bilbao1941052025-522
14EibarEibar195772128-722
15Leganes195771721-422
16Real Valladolid195771721-422
17Celta Vigo195683132-121
18Rayo Vallecano1954102234-1219
19Villarreal193882025-517
20Huesca1925121736-1911
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
X

We value your privacy

A part of our GDPR compliance we need to ask for your consent. We and our partners use technology such as cookies on Sports Mole to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology on Sports Mole.