Joe Schmidt pays tribute to 'incredible' Eoin Reddan

Keith Earls also spoke of how the squad is chanelling the spirit of their football counterparts

Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt speaks to the media ahead of Ireland’s third test match with South Africa in Port Elizabeth. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt speaks to the media ahead of Ireland’s third test match with South Africa in Port Elizabeth. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

 

Ahead of Ireland’s third test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth, Joe Schmidt paid tribute to Eoin Reddan, following confirmation earlier in the day of his retirement after Saturday’s test.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Eoin for the last six years, he’s been a part of the leadership group through those six years either in Leinster or in the Irish set-up, the brings a real intelligence to the game and a real competitive edge as well. I think his ability to get the basics there right have allowed him to be incredibly efficient as a scrum-half and that’s what you want when you’re in a pivotal position like that and his intelligence around the game, his ability to be driving the forwards, respected by the forwards has been really beneficial.

""incredible"It’s something that the teams around him have benefited from for the six years that I’ve been involved with him and obviously prior to that, where he had real success with Wasps and with Ireland before I was involved.”

The squad have also been drawing inspiration from the heroics of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland football teams, as well as the Irish Under-20s in reaching the World Rugby Under-20 Championships final against England.

Keith Earls admitted: “I’ve a pain in my throat from shouting at the TV last night when Brady scored his goal. We’re getting videos from family and friends and people who were in Paris and just the Irish people in general.”

“The Under-20s, they’re flying it, with a massive win against New Zealand and now they’re going onto the final against England. For a small country, we’re (also) a really proud country and it doesn’t matter what we’re playing, everybody gets behind us. You can feel that from home, the messages you can feel it everywhere, you can see it on the TV with the soccer and the Under-20s support. It’s been great.”

Ireland team v South Africa: Tiernan O’Halloran (Buccaneers/Connacht); Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster), Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster), Stuart Olding ( /Ulster), Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster); Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster), Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster); Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) (capt), Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster), CJ Stander (Munster), Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster). Replacements: Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Finlay Bealham (Corintians/Connacht), Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster), Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht), Rhys Ruddock (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Eoin Reddan (Old crescent/Leinster), Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster), Matt Healy (Lansdowne/Connacht).

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