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Monday Mar 18, 2024

Andy Farrell reminds journalist of criticism in funny exchange

Few head coaches in international rugby are as settled in their position as Ireland head coach Andy Farrell.

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Leading the men in green to 30 wins in their last 33 tests, including two Six Nations titles, the former Rugby League star has risen through the ranks to become one of the very best in the coaching business.

Whilst Farrell is now firmly established as the man to lead Ireland through the 2027 Rugby World Cup, his time in charge was not always as rosy.

In fact, during his first year in charge, both Farrell and his assistant coaches came in for criticism as they went about moving away from the ultra-conservative systems put in place by former coach Joe Schmidt to a more complex attacking game.

During this period, the pressure was on the men in green, who were rebuilding after a devastatingly poor 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign.

Since then, the team’s results, bar a titanic Rugby World Cup quarterfinal and round four of this year’s Championship, have been immaculate and beyond criticism.

In both of those high-pressure fixtures, Ireland came up just short by a margin of four points against the All Blacks and by a single point against England.

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These two losses led to questions about Ireland’s ability to win when the pressure comes on, albeit this feels very reactionary.

Speaking post-Ireland’s tight win over Scotland on Saturday, Farrell was asked by Virgin Media reporter Tommy Martin about the criticism his team received.

As the interview was drawing to a close, Martin said, “There was a lot of criticism after the defeat during the week. Are you proud of how the team responded?”

Taking no time to think, Farrell showed once again why he is so respected with a straight forward response, “There was criticism from you before the game,” before continuing on to say, “Look we don’t take it on, I mean with Championships there is a reason why its never been done with a Grand Slam before.”

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Turning back to the World Cup, Farrell said, “You look at competitions like the World Cup, where someone always loses a game. It’s the same in soccer with the Champions League, etc.

“This is what happens and that’s why the Six Nations is so special and that’s why it means so much to us.

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