The Joe Schmidt era: Burnout the inevitable result of a regime based upon excessive control

Unexplained conservative strategy will forever taint the most important Schmidt season

Joe Schmidt: “Any 23 can play very well against the All Blacks and not get the result,” said Schmidt before New Zealand thrashed Ireland 46-14. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Joe Schmidt: “Any 23 can play very well against the All Blacks and not get the result,” said Schmidt before New Zealand thrashed Ireland 46-14. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

To the bitter and largely unexplained end, Joe Schmidt remained the same. It was all about control. Control of the young players who, like life in a 1960s rural boarding school, feared chance meetings with the deputy principal in hotel corridors.

Control of an outdated masterplan. Control of the media. Working every day for six and half years to remain in control of everything.

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