Media playback is not supported on this device Ireland-England game will not be boring – Schmidt Six Nations 2019: Ireland v EnglandVenue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Saturday 2 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMTCoverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live and Radio Ulster, plus live text commentary & highlights on the BBC Sport websiteJoe Schmidt has laughed…
|Six Nations 2019: Ireland v England|
|Venue:Aviva Stadium, DublinDate:Saturday 2 FebruaryKick-off:16:45 GMT|
|Coverage:Live on BBC Radio 5 live and Radio Ulster, plus live text commentary & highlights on the BBC Sport website|
Joe Schmidt has laughed off England’s boring jibe by predicting Ireland will produce “edge of the seat” rugby in Saturday’s Six Nations opener.
England defence coach John Mitchellmade headlines this week as he used an expletive in his description of a methodical Irish gameplan.
But Schmidt shrugged off the “banter” as he named his team on Thursday.
“I don’t think for a moment that it’s going to be boring. I think it’s going to be exhilarating,” he said.
“I think it’s going to be edge of the seat because I don’t think there’s a huge amount between the teams.”
With Eddie Jones also having claimed that Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton “has the bat phone to the referee”, the English management appear to have been attempting to indulge in mind games with the Grand Slam champions in the build-up to the Aviva Stadium contest.
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However, Schmidt remained his usual composed self when he was asked about the comments from the England camp.
“People have different approaches but I think it’s incredibly important to respect your opponents, and to acknowledge what abilities they bring to the game,” said Schmidt.
When asked if England’s lead-in comments have lacked enough respect, Schmidt said the the pre-match jibes had not been a distraction and would likely be discussed by the coaches in humorous fashion following Saturday’s game.
“I’ve known Mitch [John Mitchell] for a long time, so it will be good to catch up with him,” said Schmidt.
“And then banter can be face-to-face, and if there’s something that needs to be said, it can be said, and it will be said with a light-hearted bit of repartee I think.
“I don’t really know everything they’ve been saying.
“I heard the boring comment, I heard the bat phone comment; I don’t know what else they’ve been saying.
“All I can keep doing is keep my head down, keep making sure that I try to find the fine margins and try to support players as best I can, to get them as well-prepared as I can.”
Schmidt’s side shows two changes from the stirring home win over New Zealand in November asRobbie Henshaw replaces Rob Kearneyat full-back and fit-again scrum-half Conor Murray takes over from Kieran Marmion.