Joe Schmidt Was True To His Word This November Regarding Selection
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At the beginning of the month Joe Schmidt sat down with Tommy Bowe to discuss all things rugby ahead of Ireland’s November series.
He had just selected an extended 42-man squad and will looking forward to four big games against Italy, Argentina, world champions New Zealand and the USA Eagles.
In that interview Schmidt noted that it would very unlikely that any player would end up playing all four games, as the Ireland head coach looked to rotate his squad, and give everyone some important game time ahead of the Six Nations and Rugby World Cup.
“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.”
True to his word Schmidt did exactly that, with not a single player playing all four tests. He also made sure every single one of his 42 players (bar Robbie Henshaw who was set to start against Argentina, but got injured in the warm-up) was given some minutes this month, including the uncapped trio of Sam Arnold, Will Addison and Ross Byrne.
Four games, four wins. Every single available player used. Not a bad month for Joe Schmidt and Ireland.