Gordon D’Arcy: The Ireland camp in 2019 became a difficult place to operate

A power struggle between coach and captain is an essential dynamic for a successful team

Joe Schmidt with Paul O’Connell in 2014. The coach and captain dynamic between the two proved the catalyst for Ireland winning two Six Nations. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Joe Schmidt with Paul O’Connell in 2014. The coach and captain dynamic between the two proved the catalyst for Ireland winning two Six Nations. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

I have sat quietly in team meetings when Paul O’Connell strongly disagreed with Joe Schmidt. It felt extremely awkward, as neither man gave an inch, but proved the catalyst for Ireland winning two Six Nations under their coach and captain dynamic.

I have challenged Michael Cheika in the Leinster environment. Suffice to say this ended badly for me and many others, but Cheika softened his cough whenever Leo Cullen interjected. You sensed the respect between our on and off field leaders.

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