Keith Earls On The Big Difference Between Joe Schmidt’s Ireland Regime & Andy Farrell’s

Chilled.

Ireland winger Keith Earls made his comeback off the bench last weekend against Wales with an excellent cameo in the centre. The Limerick man looked really sharp and close to this best.

New boss Andy Farrell has brought a new style of play as Ireland look to reinvent themselves to a certain extent following a disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign under Joe Schmidt.

But what’s the biggest difference between the two head coaches? Well according to Earls, Ireland are enjoying a much more “chilled” atmosphere under the Englishman, compared to Schmidt’s infamous military regiment.

Earls said there were times in the past where you’d be “scared to laugh” but things are a lot different now.

“Yeah. I think as you said, there were times when we were scared to laugh. If you were laughing you weren’t switched on or you weren’t concentrating or you weren’t being professional,” Earls said.

But I think in the last week before we did the Captain’s Run then we didn’t meet again until we were getting on the bus going to the game.

“Usually you’d have a couple of meetings beforehand and you might have a meeting at 10 in the morning and the anxiety starts coming in from there whereas it’s [now] completely chilled.

We are trying to enjoy ourselves but once you walk out in the four lines you have to be switched on.”

Earls reckons there’s no point getting yourself too worked before a game, you just need to switch on at the right time.

“It’s being able to switch on for the hour or so rather than wasting energy all morning or two days or a day out, wasting energy on thinking about plays or stuff like that. Yeah, it’s definitely a lot more relaxed in Munster and Ireland as well,” Earls added.

“As I said there it’s been a lot more chilled. We’re barely in the classroom as well. We see our classroom as being on the field. Faz [Andy Farrell] brings down a tv to the side of the field at the HPC [High-Performance Centre] and we’ll look at a play and then we’ll go out and rep it. It’s just coaches are different.

“Thinking about Twickenham, it’s an unbelievable place to go, but I’m probably only thinking about it 10 minutes a day rather than 24/7.”