Gerry Thornley: Life after Joe Schmidt - it's a very unnerving thought

Narrow margins and intense competition define a tournament like no other for coach

Speaking at the launch of the 2019 Six Nations, England coach Eddie Jones says that his sole focus is on beating Ireland in the opening round. Video: Reuters

So it begins then, the long goodbye. And it’s not just Joe Schmidt, who is coming into his sixth and last Six Nations as Ireland’s head coach.

Ditto Warren Gatland, for whom this will be a remarkable 12th and last as Wales head coach, which thus makes it his 16th championship in total when taking into account his four with Ireland.

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