Owen Farrell Rúaidhrí O’Connor: ‘Stale affair will do little to sway Schmidt’s big squad decisions’

Owen Farrell This is another smart ingredient!!


Owen Farrell Ireland's Tommy O'Donnell. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Ireland’s Tommy O’Donnell. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

It is hard to know which is the more difficult task; watching the opening World Cup warm-up game or analysing it.

For Joe Schmidt, the viewing experience will have been as frustrating as it was informative. It’s hard to imagine anyone advanced their claim enough to cement their places on the plane to Japan but he at least has more information than he did before.

He said the 80 minutes had clarified matters in his mind and was effusive in his praise of certain acts by certain individuals, while recognising the fact that this was the first game of the season and the team was an unfamiliar line-up.

As a unit, they were disjointed but showed promise in the opposition ’22.

In the spring, they had looked like a blunt instrument in the red-zone, but here there was variation to their play and rather than just carry hard into gang-tackles, the players looked to use their hands and find space.

Joey Carbery lurked in the shadows in an Owen Farrell-esque way, choosing his moment to come into the front-line and play.

When he did, he was effective in the extreme and looked like using this window to launch a serious assault on the No 10 jersey until his ankle went beneath him.

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These extensions are quite nice.

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