Joe Schmidt Explains His Decision To Start Joey Carbery Against Australia

Starting role.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt says the decision to start Joey Carbery against Australia for their series opener was decided before he decided to leave Leinster for Munster.

Carbery last week revealed he would be joining the southern province, on a reported two-year deal next season. But Schmidt was under the impression he was going to stay in Leinster following their discussion – and apparently so did Carbery!

“It was probably last week in the back of our mind and since then there have been a few changes. When guys came into camp we just tried to check how they were travelling and who would be benefit from what.” Schmidt said

“One of the things probably was that when I’d last spoken to Joey Carbery, he was going to stay in Leinster. We thought we’ll try to give him this opportunity to play at 10.

“When he told me last Wednesday morning that he was going to Munster, I said to him; ‘I thought you were going to stay’. He said ‘so did I’.

“We had already decided to give him an opportunity in this first test so we thought we may as well run with it now.

“We’ve got good people around him and he’s a good person and a good player.”

Schmidt has challenged Carbery to go out and ‘boss it’ this weekend, and reckons having Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw outside him will work to his advantage.

“One of the challenges we set for Joey is that he’s got to boss it,” Schmidt added.

“He’s in that pivotal link for most of what we’re doing so he’s got to boss that.

“At the same time we’ve challenge Robbie and Bundee to help him as best they can because if they can do a little bit of that work for him and take a little bit of that pressure off him, I think it’s going to be advantageous for Joey. It’ll free him up to act rather than to think all the time.”

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