Ireland will be hoping to emulate the 2003 England group that won the Six Nations Grand Slam in Dublin and went on to grow to be planet champions later that year.

The Irish have a challenging draw — 2019 champions South Africa and Scotland in their pool, then a possible quarter-final against New Zealand or France.

Irish players and fans are painfully conscious that when it comes to the Planet Cup, they are left behind – they in no way go beyond the round of 16.

With 22 wins in their final 24 Tests, like a historic series win in New Zealand and now the Six Nations Grand Slam, they are in a really robust position to go all the way.

Right here, AFP Sports picks 3 components that guarantee superior possibilities in France later this year:

Inclusivity is the crucial to Farrell’s good results

“I’ve had a chat with Peter O’Mahony, everyone’s speaking about how superior the atmosphere is right here, and it is not rubbish,” commented veteran prop Dave Kilcoyne ahead of the win more than France.

Therein lies a potent element of how Andy Farrell has constructed a potent group more than 4 years – there is discomfort and disappointment, but they are at odds with inclusiveness.

Farrell (47) mentioned that he is approachable, that his door is generally open for players.

“The ideal point about him is that he hasn’t changed a bit from assistant to head coach,” Jonny Sexton mentioned just after Ireland beat England to seal the Grand Slam.

“He’s nonetheless really preferred, even with guys he does not choose.”

Beneath Farrell’s predecessor Joe Schmidt, though they enjoyed good results — culminating in a Grand Slam in 2018 — the New Zealanders in no way shook off the habits formed as a college teacher and ran the group with an iron fist.

The indicators have been early on that Farrell was a man confident in the ‘journey’ he had set out and unafraid to make challenging choices – highlighted by his taking down a clearly angry Sexton in the course of the defeat to France at Paris 2020.

The ruffled feathers have considering the fact that been smoothed out, displaying just how adept Farrell is at managing folks, an invaluable good quality for a campaign as intense as the Planet Cup.

The story continues

Obtaining endured it

A grand slam that was accomplished with 4 bonus point wins out of 5 and beating all of his opponents by 13 points or much more would have seemed like a stroll in the park – it was something but.

Andy Farrell admitted that just ten-9 against a 14-man England side was “crunch time” – but they identified a way to get back on track when once more.

This resilience came to the fore when they lost 3 players in the initially half against Scotland — “the entire group was laughing simply because it was organized chaos at half-time,” Farrell mentioned — and then replaced them with whore Ronan Kelleher ahead of the 50-minute mark.

Prop Cian Healy had to replace the whore, and winger Josh van der Flier took the lineouts – and they nonetheless held on for a 22-7 win.

“In terms of character and fighting and wanting every single other, it is the ideal game I’ve ever been a aspect of,” Farrell mentioned.

This was the hallmark of Farrell’s side, a strength that will assist them by means of the rigors of the Planet Cup

Spoiled for option

There was a time when if Ireland lost a player from their beginning line-up, their lack of depth exposed them — as in the 2015 Planet Cup quarter-finals when a side with no the injured Johnny Sexton, Paul O’Connell and Peter O’Mahony have been rock strong. it was Argentina.

Andy Farrell, on the other hand, corrected that in his 4 years at the helm, in addition to introducing now-frequent starters Caelan Doris, Jamison Gibson-Park and Mack Hansen, he also has a bevy of solutions.

A case in point is second-row forward Ryan Baird — fourth option at the get started of the tournament, the 23-year-old was handed a beginning function against England due to injuries to Tadhg Beirne and Iain Henderson.

He did not flinch and produced a crucial turnaround in the second half that lifted the spirits of his teammates.

“I believed he was substantial in that second half,” Farrell mentioned.

For Johnny Sexton, such a overall performance contributes to the competitors for a location in the Planet Cup, which can only be optimistic.

“That is what we want come Planet Cup time. We want 40-45 players at the similar level fighting for positions.”


By Editor