Johnny Wilkinson And Brian O’Driscoll On Ireland’s Clever Kick-Off Strategy


Dan Biggar limped off in the first half against Ireland as a result of knock which he had picked up following a kick-off by Johnny Sexton.

Wilkinson outlined why he believes the strategy is so effective.

I say to coaches, please kick to the number ten. It’s the last person that wants the ball, kick it high so he can’t kick it away. Get him involved in a ruck straight away where he can’t move and also where he can’t be a help for the next phase or two or whatever. His idea is ‘I want to start confidently’ and now he’s in the middle of a ruck getting hit, getting in all kinds of body positions that he can’t control.

I don’t know if it’s exactly what Ireland planned to do but it’s a hell of a kick off. It’s right in that area where he has to come forward and he has to come into it. You can see that his foot gets trapped as he turns away. No one wants to see him go off but you want to ruffle the ten straight away.

O’Driscoll had no doubts in his mind it was intentional.

It looks as though it was planned because it’s neither short and competitive or long for territory. I definitely feel as though they targeted [Biggar] tried to get him in the first ruck and make them box kick.

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