Former Ireland fly-half Ronan O’Gara has hailed the impact of head coach Joe Schmidt and believes he has been a vital part of their recent success.
2018’s excellent effort began with a dramatic late victory against France in Paris, something O’Gara believes was a sign of Schmidt’s work.
“The fatigue levels at 80 minutes in a Test match, heart going 180 to 200 beats a minute…it’s a fair achievement,” he told Virgin Media, the Guinness Six Nations host broadcaster in Ireland in an interview. “A fair achievement? That could be the understatement of the season!”
O’Gara was never coached by Schmidt at international level as he retired before his appointment. However, he is a keen admirer of his work.
“What the IRFU and the boys are doing now would make you very proud to be Irish,” the now Crusaders assistant coach continued.
“We haven’t seen anything like him – that’s the great thing about it.
“He’s come in, he knows what world class is and he realises that he has a group of players who are world class. And then he convinces his players of that.”