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'Let them keep talking, it's not a problem' - Mike Catt

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Tuesday Jun 25, 2024

Ireland attack coach Mike Catt has responded to the recent raft of chatter coming out of the Springbok camp ahead of the teams two test series in July.

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Talking at a recent Irish Rugby media day, Catt said the Irish team were not concerned about the noise outside the camp ahead of their trip to the World Champions.

“For us, it’s not a problem,” Catt said.

“People can say what they want, it means nothing to us, it’s something we don’t particularly worry about.

“Let them keep talking; it’s not a problem. It doesn’t fuel anything, it doesn’t make it any or worse. We know exactly what we need to do to go down there and be successful.

“The rivalry’s been good; that’s what you want at test level, and that’s why you play the game. We’ve been pretty successful over the past three times we’ve played them; they’re chomping at the bit.

“There’s been a lot said in the press and this and that; it’s getting rid of all the white noise; what’s important for us is to put in a hell of a performance and go and challenge to win a series down in South Africa.”

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“It’s healthy; you want that rivalry. You want that – not hatred – but whatever it is that stirs it all up. It’s good.”

Having claimed a historic series win over the All Blacks during their last southern hemisphere tour, Catt was asked what it would mean to claim a first series victory in South Africa.

Last touring South Africa in 2016, Ireland won the first test in Cape Town before narrowly losing the following two to drop the series 2 – 1.

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“Well, it’s never been done before.

“We haven’t spoken about it; whether it gets spoken about today, it might be the case, but we went down to New Zealand to challenge ourselves to do something that had never been done before. I think that’s going to be the same situation, us going to South Africa against world champions.

“The hype is big; it’s massive. It’s massively exciting. It’s a huge challenge; we understand it’s a huge challenge, but we’re going to embrace it and go with it.

“I think every time you pull on a green jersey is massively important. You’re inspiring the nation.

“Andy and the team have done exceptionally well in doing that, and it’s making sure we maintain that and keep that level very high so we can inspire young kids to come into the game and the rest of the nation to support us,” Catt concluded.

In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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