Shane Horgan Does Not Hold Back In His Assessment Of Ireland Head Coach Andy Farrell

Continuity coach.

Former Ireland and Leinster winger Shane Horgan doesn’t think Andy Farrell is the man to bring Ireland forward.

Farrell took over as head coach from Joe Schmidt following the 2019 Rugby World Cup having spent several years as the New Zealander’s assistant, mainly looking after Ireland’s defence.

Schmidt enjoyed huge success with Ireland, defeating the All Blacks twice and winning three Six Nations titles, including a Grand Slam, cracks began to show in his last 18 months or so as boss.

Ireland have needed a new gameplan for quite some time and Horagan reckons Farrell isn’t the man to deliver that. He reckons the current Ireland boss is not going to be a revolutionary as Schmidt was when he first arrived on the scene.

“Andy Farrell was a continuity coach,” Horgan told the Second Captains podcast.

What Joe Schmidt did when he came to Ireland and Leinster before that was quite revolutionary, it was innovative and at the forefront of rugby thinking.

“Over a period of time, that waned and it was no longer at the forefront. We saw that in his last year and with the World Cup.

“In the meantime, Andy Farrell was picked and he’s continued on largely the [same] philosophy. Although, bizarrely, he said that he wanted to move away from the detail.

“The detail in that philosophy is the thing that saved it, even as other philosophies developed.

“We’re seeing what England are doing, France, what South Africa are doing in a different way, and the way that New Zealand play.

“He’s moved away from the thing that was really important to that philosophy, and it’s out of date.

“I don’t see him capable of changing to be an innovator. Nothing that he’s done so far indicates that to me.”

Horgan went as far as to say he reckons they will be in the exact same place in two years’ time as long as Farrell is around, hinting that he feels maybe it’s time to bring a new head coach, sooner rather than later.

“We’ll be in the same position in two years’ time,” Horgan added.

“I would be surprised if Andy Farrell can turn this around.

“I think what he can do is bump along at a mediocre level for a good period of time, getting wins against the teams that we’ve spoken about but actually not having a philosophy that can elevate us to the top table.

“I don’t necessarily think that anything will happen to Andy Farrell for the foreseeable [future]. I do think that the likelihood is that we’ll be in the same position in two years time.

“Is it better to grasp the nettle earlier?”

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