Joe Schmidt Makes Interesting Selection Admission For November Series

Rotation. 

Joe Schmidt surprised a lot of people a couple of weeks back when he named an extended 42-man Ireland squad for their November fixtures against Italy, Argentina, New Zealand and USA.

For the trip to Chicago to take on Italy on Saturday, Schmidt took just 26 of those players with him, leaving a number of his senior players back in Ireland for the remaining fixtures.

And that squad did their job pretty well, putting eight tries past Italy in a 54-7 win at Soldier Field. But ahead of the game, Schmidt made an interesting admission regarding his selection process for the series.

Speaking to Tommy Bowe at Carton House last week, Schmidt said it’s very unlikely ANY player will end up playing all four Test matches, with the Ireland boss keen to spread out the workload, especially considering a lot of his internationals have played plenty of domestic rugby this season.

“It’s been a pretty big provincial start to the year” Schmidt said.

“I don’t foresee anybody playing all four Tests so it (the big squad) allows us to spread the load a little bit and give everyone a down week.”