Ronan O’Gara Says Ireland As A Country Expects A Grand Slam Tomorrow

“So should the players.”

Former Ireland and Munster playmaker Ronan O’Gara says Ireland expects a Grand Slam tomorrow with Joe Schmidt’s men set to do battle with old rivals England at Twickenham.

The Crusaders coach says Ireland are the second-best team in the world right now, with arguably the leading coach. He says Ireland as a country expects a Grand Slam tomorrow and so should they players.

Writing in The Irish Examiner, O’Gara has challenged this Irish team to do the business tomorrow and go on to win a series down in Australia this summer. Only then can they consider themselves as serious contenders for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

“Joe Schmidt’s Ireland are the second-best team in the world now, with arguably the leading coach. The country expects Ireland to deliver a Grand Slam at Twickenham tomorrow. So should the players. They should want to complete the Grand Slam, then go to Australia in the summer and win a Test series down there.”

“With that, Ireland have grounds for considering themselves as a contender to win the World Cup in Japan next year. If you don’t tick those boxes, it’s hard to make the big jump.”

O’Gara has also questioned Eddie Jones’ stewardship. He says there is a in New Zealand that the England coach is fantastic with teams when he first comes in. But that his style of coaching isn’t sustainable, and teams reach a tipping point as a result.

“There’s a theory down here about Eddie Jones, how he brings a massive bounce effect when he comes in as head coach. 5am sessions, a great buzz, a feelgood factor.”

“But is it sustainable over a period of time? And have we hit the tipping point already? Losing in Edinburgh to Scotland was a disappointment, and there was undoubtedly the honesty call in the meeting the following Monday. An opportunity to make a statement against France. That was the worrying bit. They were brutal in Paris last Saturday.”

You can read O’Gara’s full Irish Examiner piece here.