Gordon D'Arcy: Ireland on brink of greatest season in our history

Schmidt has spent three years rebuilding a squad of sufficient depth for the job at hand

Ireland’s Rob Herring, Jordi Murphy and Rob Kearney celebrate as referee Paul Williams signals a knock on against Australia during the second Test at the AAMI Park in Melbourne. Phogograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland’s Rob Herring, Jordi Murphy and Rob Kearney celebrate as referee Paul Williams signals a knock on against Australia during the second Test at the AAMI Park in Melbourne. Phogograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland have never been in this position before. Not during or before my time. As Grand Slam champions in 2009, the Lions took most of us to South Africa, so this is a chance to plant a flag on the summit – Southern Hemisphere series victory – no other Irish side has reached.

Johnny Sexton said it best on the Stade de France pitch in February. Defeat in Paris would have derailed everything Ireland are working towards. Sydney presents another pivotal moment.

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