“I Wouldn’t Want To Put Too Much On His Shoulders” – Joe Schmidt Unsure About Potential Ireland Captain

Skipper.

Former Ireland boss Joe Schmidt reckons Peter O’Mahony or Johnny Sexton should be Ireland’s next captain following Rory Best’s retirement.

Schmidt appointed Best following Paul O’Connel’s retirement in 2015 and for continuity purposes, he reckons new boss Andy Farrell should go with one of the current vice-captains in O’Mahony or Sexton.

Speaking at an event in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre to promote his new book – Ordinary Joe, Schmidt said Farrell is “very aware” of their leadership capabilities

“The two vice-captains are Johnny and Pete so if there was going to be continuity, it would be Johnny and Pete,” said Schmidt with quotes via The42

“But there are some really strong up-and-coming players who may or may not be ready. It’s not my decision to make so I don’t want to pre-empt anyone else’s decision. Faz [Andy Farrell] is very aware of Johnny and Pete having both captained the side when Rory hasn’t been playing.”

James Ryan has also been touted as a possible Ireland captain, and at just 23, he could lead the men in green for many years to come. But Schmidt reckons it might be too soon.

“The one thing I would just be hesitant about is that I wouldn’t want to put too much on his shoulders,” said Schmidt.

“He’s got a great set of shoulders and they’re growing all the time, as is the rest of his body. I think it would be great to let him grow into himself before giving that responsibility to him.

“At the same time, it can help a person grow in stature because they do assume that responsibility and James is a guy that tends to take things in his stride.

“As a very young man, he very quickly established himself as a starting player in a very competitive Irish team. So he is an impressive young man.”