Ireland are on the cusp of an epic run as they head Down Under

Schmidt knows a series win for Ireland would be a major landmark on road to Japan

Joe Schmidt: ‘We want to make sure this tour is another building block for what comes in the future.’ Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Joe Schmidt: ‘We want to make sure this tour is another building block for what comes in the future.’ Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

It is a measure of Irish rugby’s game management system that a near full-strength squad pitched up on the Gold Coast over the weekend in readiness for the three-Test series against Australia which starts in Brisbane next Saturday.

It’s also a measure of the players’ own desires that, by all accounts, when Joe Schmidt sounded them out towards the end of a long, post-Lions, high pressure and high achieving season, not one of them was of the remotest mind to take a rest.

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