Sir Ian McGeechan has supported Ireland Rugby World Cup team coach Andy Farrell to become the British and Irish Lions head trainer for the 2025 tour of Australia. McGeechan, who took custody of four Lions tours, feels the present Ireland boss is the best choice for the role. Farrell is a former Lions defence trainer whose current Ireland agreement runs until the summer of 2025. Absolutely, yes, Sir Ian said when asked if he sees Farrell as a possible Lions head coach.
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Superb Ireland produce an exciting win over France before RWC
Farrell was extremely proud as Ireland defeated France. When I spoke to him I did remark on it. He is just great at drawing players composed and it is so significant on a Lions tour that you get the interaction and you get the players to come out and show what they can do. He has shown that beautifully well with the Irish team. It is exactly what you need from a Lions trainer and, yes, for me he would be the favourite.
Sir Ian had four tours in charge of the Lions between 1989 and 2009 and was also an associate on the 2005 tour. Farrell has formerly been linked with the Lions job, with Irish Rugby Football Union show director David Nucifora saying last year that the IRFU would be ecstatic if he was selected for the role. The former England helper’s present Ireland team are ranked number one in the world and last, Saturday held an outstanding Dublin win over France.
With the France Rugby World Cup 2023 on the horizon in September, Sir Ian spoke confidently about Ireland’s chances of success, saying that he trusts this squad is different to preceding Irish teams that have pleased to deceive when expected to do well at World Cups. I think it is a very different team and crew now, he told in a media interview. They are very well planned off the field, I think David Nucifora has done a lot in the pathway, in carrying players through.
Ireland Rugby World Cup team have an exceptional training crew
They have an exceptional coaching group and I think the other thing Ireland has done is have an A team and blooded players in South Africa. Ireland is doing all of the things which I just think, looking back, make so much intelligence in developing players. Even the knowledge of players such as Johnny Sexton and keeping him appropriate but having honest options in so many places, and have had 18 months of just exceptional rugby.
I enjoy observing Ireland play. I enjoyed the New Zealand tour and I did say to Andy Farrell that I think he has done a marvellous job with them. And, when you have people like Paul O’Connell working with them, you are looking at an atmosphere and surroundings which is very changed jointly to what Ireland has had in the past. However, with the potential of Ireland seminar hosts France graded number two in the world.
During the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup, Sir Ian said he trusts the draw for the competition should take place much closer to its start date. I would still like to see a World Cup draw only 12 months before the competition or 18 months maximum because that makes it a fairer contest. It is a tough half of the draw but is Ireland going to be easy to shatter? No. I think as they have shown in the last 18 months.
There’s no doubt that the exciting young French team are at the peak of European rugby, with the entirely incredible work rate of number eight Gregory Alldritt proving an important element of their game during their sublime 2022 Grand Slam success. Alldritt’s skill in the breakdown constantly wins turnovers for the team combined with his resonant. For more about knowing Rugby World Cup Tickets.
Is Ireland’s excitedly successful player-welfare scheme hurting us at RWCs?
In Ireland’s long and ugly history at Rugby World Cups, the 2007 edition remains ground zero. On and off the ground, Eddie O’Sullivan’s much-hyped team endured a traumatic time on French soil. The evisceration of England at Croker and talk of a ‘Golden Generation’ had the fan base high on the Celtic Tiger extra positively giddy as they booked flights and hotels across Bordeaux and Paris in their hordes. The belief was high.
From the instant, Brian O’Driscoll got a cheap dig from Kiwi lock Mikaera Tewhata during a pre-tournament ‘friendly’ against Bayonne. There was an intellect of dread. It was one trauma after another for the travellers. Patchy triumphs against Namibia and Georgia thanks to Denis Leamy’s late intrusion gestured all was not well. The Fawlty Towersesque lodgings in an unconscious industrial estate on the edge of Bordeaux just enlarged the feeling that this RWC was ruined.
The difference in vibes in both camps was laid bare on one visit to the Pumas hotel for a press session a few days out from the pivotal pool meeting. As a small crew of Irish reporters arrived in the lobby, they heard a commotion. Suddenly, the halls were filled with the sounds of raucous singing accompanied by maracas and all kinds of instruments. At first, they thought it was a buoyant group of Argentine groups arriving en masse.
That’s the thing about Rugby World Cups
It was the Argentina squad coming back from a training session. Marcelo Loffreda’s group had been in camp for the best part of 10 weeks, but they were having the time of their lives. Juan Martin Hernandez, Felipe Contepomi, Agustin Pichot and Co romped to a 30-15 conquest a few days later. Ireland’s next stop was the leaving lounge at Charles de Gaulle airport. The Pumas would go down fighting in an RWC semi-final, finally finishing third in the competition standings.
Ireland is hovering on Andy Farrell’s watch at the instant. They fully justify their top-ranked status in the global positions at present, 18 wins in their last 20 Tests is evidence of it. You need to back it up on the major stage, though. It’s the spot of the truly best team. As it stands, Ireland is yet to get it right, never rolling past the quarter-final phase since the competition’s inception in 1987. A dire run which gives almost 40 years.
Farrell’s class of 2023 look more than prepared to break the cycle. Hype and hope have gone into overdrive newly. There is no lack of warnings from history, however. And an irritating sense that, when it comes to Rugby World Cups, we are never as good as we think we are. Having these journeys to Lyon and Nantes with Volotea, a well-established European low-fare airline, gives us a very practical travel solution for these significant group matches.
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