Joe Schmidt & Tadhg Furlong Hit Back At Japan Following “Illegal” Claims


Ireland boss Joe Schmidt and tighthead prop Tadhg Furlong have fired back at Japan ahead of their World Cup clash after the host nation accused them of some unlawful tactics earlier this week.

Japan prop Yusuke Kizu claimed Ireland loosehead prop Cian Healy “steps out” and illegally angles in when he scrummages, with head coach Jamie Josephy doubling down on those comments on Thursday.

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“I think the first thing is Kizu is a young man, probably his first media experience, so that would be the first thing around Kizusan,” said Joseph.

“We’re coming up against a very strong scrum. Yes, at times they are illegal, but at all times they are a very strong scrum.”

Schmidt, however, is having absolutely none of it.

“It’s hard to step out when you’ve got your right shoulder out and you’re nice and square.” Schmidt said

“We’d be probably one of the – if not the – least penalised scrums in international rugby. We do our very best to scrum square, we don’t step left.”

“Sometimes it’s impossible not to step left if the opposition does it. If the axis is moved by the opposition, it’s pretty much impossible not to move your left foot.”

“Certainly what was said by Kizu was a big surprise for us, and will probably provide a bit of motivation for Cian on Saturday.”

Furlong also feels there’s nothing wrong with the way Ireland scrum.

“For me, we try to scrum to the letter of the law. I probably don’t see the angle they’re coming from but each to their own.”