Johnny Sexton brilliantly answers Joe Schmidt question ahead of All Blacks showdown

“Joe knows us well”

When it became apparent that Ireland were going to face the All Blacks in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup this weekend – Joe Schmidt was always going to be a big talking point.

Schmidt is an absolute legend of Irish Rugby having achieved incredible success with both Leinster and Ireland, and was in charge of the men in green for their 2019 quarter-final clash with the All Blacks.

Schmidt will also be involved this weekend, but this time for New Zealand, where he currently serves as an assistant coach to Ian Foster.

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton was asked about the role Schmidt will have this weekend following today’s team announcement – and he expertly answered the question.

“I see evidence of Joe’s coaching through the team,” he said.

“Joe’s done a great job over the last 12 months, they’ve made big strides.

“Joe knows us well, we know him well, but Joe doesn’t get to make any tackles or run any lines at the weekend.

“But the legacy he left Irish rugby is massive. His record here is outstanding, we’ll look forward to having a beer with him after the game.”

A brilliant answer from Sexton, downplaying Schmidt’s influence while also praising the man for all he achieved in Irish Rugby.

Keith Earls was also asked about Schmidt’s potential role this weekend and he believes Ireland have completely evolved beyond his style of rugby.

“I don’t think Joe would know anything about this squad,” Earls said.

“We’re a completely different squad.

“He probably knows things about individuals but, again, we’ve all changed our habits under this coaching staff and we genuinely don’t use any of the habits that Joe taught us.”

Roll on Saturday. It’s certainly going to be an interesting one.

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