“I Know For A Fact He’s The Only Coach That Gets Under Joe Schmidt’s Skin”
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Former Ireland and Leinster winger Luke Fitzgerald says Wales are the team Joe Schmidt really wants to beat every year and that Warren Gatland is the only coach that “gets under his skin.”
Ireland take on Wales this weekend at the Principality with Gatland’s men playing for a Six Nations Grand Slam having gone undefeated so far in the Championship. Ireland meanwhile can still defend their title if they beat Wales and England fail to beat Scotland.
But regardless of what’s at stake – Fitzgerald says this is a game Schmidt will really want to win.
“Warren is a deep thinker and I know for a fact he’s the only coach that gets under Joe Schmidt’s skin.” Fitzgerald said on his Left Wing podcast.
“There’s no way he hasn’t recognised that. Wales is the one game Joe wants to win every year.”
“That Warren Gatland thing has been going on for a while. Whether he wants to prove himself against him – there’s a battle within a battle.”
Fitzgerald reckons Gatland will do his utmost with the media this week in an attempt to get under Schmidt’s skin.
“Watch in the media there’ll be something to pick on and (Joe) will be obsessed with it.” he added
“Joe watches and reads everything in the news – he doesn’t miss one thing – and I think Gatland knows that and I think Warren plants in a few little ideas to drive him mad.”
“They’re both amazing coaches but with different styles.”
“And it’s great watching the battle of two mentalities. The fact whoever wins this final Six Nations game will have a better head-to-head record, won’t be lost on Joe.