Keith Wood Says What We Should All Be Saying About Jacob Stockdale
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Former Ireland international Keith Wood does not think it is a “risk” having Jacob Stockdale in the national side because of his defensive frailties.
Stockdale has been one of Ireland’s star players in attack, and currently tops the Six Nations try-scoring charts with four. But he’s been caught on a number of occasions this year in defence.
It’s been suggested Joe Schmidt is taking a risk playing Stockdale, but so far has gotten away with it. Keith Wood does not believe this to be the case.
“I don’t think it’s a risk to pick Stockdale.” Wood said on Off The Ball.
“I think he has an awful lot to learn and I think he is learning it.”
“But I think what he is offering is a killer instinct for the line. He can get to the line, he knows how to get to the line.
“He also has a sense of huge confidence. He kind of struts, and he’s a big man.”
“Yes he can be a little slow on his feet, he can turn a little bit slowly, yes he makes some wrong decisions. Because he doesn’t know, but he’s learning all the time”
“And you can know for a fact, that in every Irish Camp, there is an accelerated learning process for Jacob Stockdale.”
Wood says he is protective of the younger players in the Irish set-up. He doesn’t believe it’s fair for us demand they must be instantly perfect when they become an international player
“I often become a little protective of some of the younger players that come in, because we are looking for perfection immediately because they are playing for their country.
“But I do think there is something about him (Stockdale). And I know he makes a few mistakes, and if he leaks a try, Ireland cannot blame him for leaking a try.”
“That’s part and parcel. I don’t think it constitutes a risk at all.”
Try-scoring machine Jacob Stockdale is still learning game by game in this #6Nations2018 but as @RuaidhriOC & Keith Wood explained, we'll see the full benefits at the 2019 @rugbyworldcup @VodafoneIreland #TeamOfUs
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) February 28, 2018