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Look at that. Hello and welcome to Episode 11 of the podcast, brought to you by Robillard. We've got another show for you this week, as per usual. Myself and Jamie, he said, will be looking back on the April 14 action over the weekend, as well as the Six Nations encounter between Ireland, that Italy will also be looking back on France's game with Wales and looking ahead to this weekend's crucial six nation decider in Paris. Guest wise, this week, we'll be chatting to British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland following Kountouris Jersey launch.
And we've got some media there, stuff from Ireland Captain Johnny Sexton. As always, if you get a chance, Coach, please do go on and subscribe to us and give us a rating on whichever podcast platform using judicial guides. And here they are in a familiar position to be very, very critical. Michael Bennett is poised on his shoulder to get the from make it all the way over blast from the world's referee, Jeffrey Roach, breached in the 13th minute by the tight right, Jamie?
Six nations earned over the weekend. But we will ease into this and let's crack on with some of the pro 14 action. First three wins for the Irish good yesterday and more cardinals on Monday. Someone start playing tonight against Cardiff Blues in the first one that Robbie will get onto that later on. We kick start with Leinster absolutely spanked. Xebra, to be honest with you. To be honest.
To be honest, I started watching it right.
And I felt so like it was put on mute fairly quickly because it was just it was a free for all, you know, like you're just seeing this this production line of these players stepping up, like coming out who are just slinging the ball around with amazing freedom, freedom and kind of intuitive feeling of how each other is playing that.
And it's very hard to compete, especially, you know, international window when, you know, traditionally some of your players, star players might be going on for the opposition.
Let's just keep producing more and more and more throughout the even losing like they've lost a lot of their younger guys, even the likes of before you might not have seen because Natale's and Connors and Keane and I'm going to say what I say, Paul, 14, they're gone now as well. So you're really back. Look, you're down to kind of your tired team and like in any game or to back in 63 points is pretty goddamn impressive, isn't it?
Yeah, it's great for the club, though, because in fairness to all the provincial clubs, they've been very good traditionally in these windows to to to play a lot of the younger talent and give them game time. But to do that, like you said, scored that points and a fourteen game and just credit credit to them.
And such is the pressure that, like we talk about this, we are building pipelines of players, but like there's more players to put their hand up and piling up pressure, you mean, and even people coming back like it.
I'll be coming back and seeing him on the field. So and it adds to the pressure cooker, which is only good for us when we when we consider Ireland going forward, not just this weekend coming into Super Saturday, but like coming into, you know, France. Twenty, twenty three. I know we keep every so often we come back to it. You know, France definitely got a young team and evolving a team. And we've got to do something similar because we probably held onto players that touch too long at the last World Cup.
And and we probably looks like we recognize it anyway.
But we'll get into that later on.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And you said that the big takeaway from that game is leaving a nineteen months out. He's back and he gets thirty minutes under his belt. We talk about it sooner, but I think for a lot of people I think we forget how good he was before he got injured. There was talk to this guy being the starting line seven. This guy was probably the player in 2013 when Leinster did the double and Ireland won the Grand Slam like he was the best player probably about him.
There's still a chance.
There's still a chance for him like he like the real test here is like you seen quotes from I don't know if I could know issues that a lot of that are, you know, and. So his his skill set and his football and brain will only take a couple of games to zero back in, you know what I mean? And if he's fit, then, you know, it's definitely going to make for an interesting conversation because you can play Dianetics as well, you know, and.
You know, and that just makes for a really, really interesting conversation going forward, because the back row were on fire for Ireland at the weekend. And what like you, when you've got hands like that and then you've got people like, let's say, Ryan, that the second round and that might you know, what happened? What do you do it like burned in Henderson? Do you put them on the bench and put one of them above them on the bench?
Couple of different positions. You. All sorts of feel the headaches either way at the end of the day, when it comes to Landser game, like you said, great to see a couple of players, young players really stand up and even better see be back.
Yeah, I think you feel it from what I've seen, like, I don't know, you probably know more than I will, but I look over when you get a knee injury that extensive. Yes. He'll get back to a good level, brain wise and skill set wise, but it will probably take three or four months before he feels really comfortable, which is which is great because the way things have panned out, you can go, OK, we might have a full blown Donlevy comes extension's next year, which is when you want to come back into the hole, really liking it.
And I think that's I think realistically Dan is probably he might, he might get game time during the autumn, might OK. I don't think he'd be placed themselves on their massive pressure.
But like if he plays a couple of games then there's no reason why they might not put him on a bench, you know, give him a run off, give him a few minutes just to give him a feel for Tetsuro again, looking kind of slowly bring him back in, especially against maybe someone like Kittridge or something like that, and give my and give Dan maybe talk two minutes under the radar as you get there.
But there's plenty there's plenty of European football, though, coming through. Right. So, yeah. And you know, Dan, he shows is kind of where is it that goes straight into six nations. I mean, if he hits, if he hits 60, 70 percent, 80 percent of the form that he hit. Yeah. Back in twenty eighteen prior to his injury and. It's a serious thing. I think I think he's on the he's on the plane South Africa.
Yeah, that's as I said, I remember saying yes when he was at that peak level like it was him and Korea at the time he was out before McHardy. So like you'd imagine hopefully he can get back to because we saw Sam Warburton, who were actually injured when he managed to get himself fit, when when they talked, when it mattered, when it came loansharking. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Look what I mean. So some of the guys who boxun smarter as well like you, I mean, and and they know how to play it as well.
But look and take wise, there's no point diving into that game and trying to break it open. Not only the game's really like joropo 14 because the main focus of it was international, but like.
Yeah, Donsbach on his back and it's got to win another win for all star. Another win for like I mean, it's, it's. Yeah. Look, start now.
Frustration like frustration from all sort of like I mean they, they, they had the balls for half time and then kind of, you know, come off the boil the second half. Yeah. I mean that's a bit disappointing credit to Dragonslayer.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, they didn't roll over anything like that, and but all in all, I think I think you saw guys get game time getting wins and they're about great to get a win away against Edinborough.
Kind of. We're playing to what we were talking about for the last few weeks. They actually worked. They were back and they got a real opportunity to play. That will be this weekend after the weekend just got back and chips in behind, spreading the ball wide, just playing rugby. Do you know what I mean?
Yeah, it was just like, yeah, you've seen a lot of smiles, plays that, a lot of fluid play and you've seen that feed into the international side as well. I think they're picking up tips and tricks from from the four provinces as well as some of the other clubs in Europe.
Yeah. And we've got money that will be to come tonight. But so, I mean, there's one obviously, regardless on Monday. I'll be going to that match tonight. I'll give you a report tonight, actually let you know what it's like. I think it'll be only be interesting. I think it's about different tonight. I mean, I just said, well, I'm going to do on a Monday night, then go to a match and it'll be fine.
I think it'll be it'll be class afterwards. Finds out, obviously, because you know what I mean. You'll just be a really different experience. Plus, we're not going to see that for a while or we're not going to play. And Murray now takes feeds, Bundakji and Henshall, and the way to fight is Tichina, and he steps back and he's going to get it being. Their second try and a big broad smile on the young man's face, dreams are made of moments like that.
And today, the maiden voyage onto the good stuff. Ireland back the week ending, what is a good feeling afterwards, I know you were having a man crush on Peter Umani there and I was talking to you about this guy trying to stand up and say that it was not.
It's not. And you know what? It says a lot that that says a lot for Peter thrown it off load in terms of the macro view of the team.
I think, you know, like I mean, I was reading I was like looking at the numbers. Right. And. I think if I remember correctly, we did something like 12 offloads. In the three games preceding this in the Six Nations right, of this Six Nations, we did 10 in that game alone, but that's what we want to see.
Know, not 100 percent, 100 percent, but like that just shows you there has been I know it's only one game, let's not get carried away, but there has been definitely from watching a slight step change. My concern is that, yes, it was Italy. Their their defense was shocking. And they kept running up their own like their structure and how they were trying to play was a bit I couldn't really make a whole lot of sense out of it.
If you like their kicking game, they're kicking right down to the guys in the 50 meter channels. You weren't even not even really good kick chase. They kept coming back in themselves the whole time when they were gone across the field in the combat. Like, yeah, there was not a whole lot of sense. Look, speed was terrible. So Iolanda are actually quite smart about that. They targeted different rocks. I just had control game the whole time.
And so I just hope that the North into a false sense of security coming up against a big team like a big bloody team. Yeah, I said, look, we do want Ireland to play loose and attack, but we don't want it to be loose and defense because that's where we've always been tight. Do you know what I mean? If you look back at Irish teams over the years, people might complain that we're a bit boring and they might look to spread the ball.
It's one runners and it's kicks. But in defense to rare, you see an Irish team gets back to an Irish team can see Troyes to see an Irish team concede. Seventeen points against Italy. Now another one has an interception. It is kind of slightly worrying when you look at what France did to Wales the weekend and the kind of parents a day of that that, you know, that's all that needs to improve.
Well, yeah, like I mean, look, we were talking we were talking offline ahead of this game. Look, Ireland have never gone to Paris and got a bonus point and one on one go. Right. We've gotten it. We've done some four tries once before and but we've never done by the same time. It's hard enough for us to go there and get a win. Now, we'll caveat that talking to players and different people, the fact that there isn't people, the crowd at the game, it kind of slightly takes away to home advantage.
But at the same time, you know, if you look at Ireland, the way we're playing the six nations we've scored, I think it's fourteen tries. Eleven them have been from setpiece, essentially. Right. And. So you're kind of you're looking at if you're a big now, mind, you have had the troubles, particularly around scrum time, but like the pictures we are showing at the weekend, take the line. We were given up a lot of.
Easy ball at the very, very tail the line. Now, we were kind of saying, if you can get it at it, fair enough. But like you give that ball to the French side with the players, they have the back line. You're going to make life a little bit difficult for yourself. So that's I don't know if that was kind of setting it up, but because sometimes you do kind of move the chess pieces even in that game thinking of a game or two ahead.
So that's going to be interesting. But it does have me slightly concerned because obviously we're not going to be like the Welsh. France was very, very aggressive and we showed that we have a very aggressive defensive team. However, we shall be looking at the first 10 minutes, something like that line break was was like that was a very like it was an easy enough system mistake.
For example, they made it look so easy. Italy did like Ireland.
It was just all of us. Someone it was like he hit the front door. No, not sex and moves outside. And actually and I just basically sat down slightly and looked in and the ball just went across and didn't pick up that I a. Like, you know, there's a breakdown between the two of them joining together, I'll probably say it's Johnny, you know what I mean? But either way, it was too simple. But when you have a front door, back door options the way France do with the way they play.
And you have a 10 who's who who will attack on a nine who will attack, you know, it's going to definitely test us, you know what I mean?
And I think if you look at the game as a whole, you're looking at 20 minutes of bad rather be in the first half, like the first 20 minutes for very poor. Second time I saw as Africa's first twenty minutes second half ago, the second time in four. So you had 40 minutes, Robbie, which got you 50 points against Italy and then 45 minutes where you only consider 17 and at four in Italy. That's why you said about 150, 17.
But if you do 40 minutes against France have already bad minutes, you're going to lose every day.
And it depends when when you play them. So like France, like I love the West, they give some cracken information around six nation games. You know, France, France score like 60, 62 percent of their tries in the first half, right. So they start with great finishers, right. So Ireland's traditionally had a bit of a problem with, you know, over the last few years, for starters.
Are letting teams get ahead and then not able to pull them back in. And because we're such a setpiece dominant team, do you know what I mean? That if the team like basically France don't make mistakes. Right.
And don't give us a whole lot of setpiece platform play, and that could potentially cause problems, particularly if they're just willing to play the whole time and put a caveat like and say if they slow down a rock as well because our rock is the fastest, I think it's it's less than three seconds on average.
Our rock France is like four seconds. Might not sound like a whole lot, but it actually is it's about 10, 15 meters of your defensive line, easier and with the most efficient rock. So we are we are getting really quick ball, which is hard to defend.
Now, I think John Edwards will have a word about that. OK, and because his whole thing is kind of slow down the ball so they can have that aggressive, aggressive line speed and always content with our first try because it actually weekend.
Yeah, if if. So there's a couple of you know what I mean, like so so my head, when I start saying these type of things, it comes down to what are we going to get into an arm wrestle with this massive French pack or.
Or we're going to be smart, like we actually did a little bit against Hitler because, yes, we played some really good ball, you know, but we actually think it really impressed me was the variety and the shapes we had really good shape or hitting the front or going out the back door of nine. And then we had a pod set up, often with someone out the back as well running off. And so we had plenty of options, plenty with movement.
But then also we use a really deft touch of a kicking game.
So, you know, I mean, we pull up the winger fullback, be isolated, and we'd kick into the space the whole time, either off Johnny or Gary. Yeah. You know, we play a lot in the from football.
Didn't kick away aimlessly, but really smart to our game. Really, really. We were just really smart with how we how we played.
And I think we're going to like that. If you're scouting Ireland now and your friends are kind of going, oh, shit, if we come off the line pretty hard here, OK, the nine might do a chip over like James ComSubPac or six and move it and kick to the corner or something like that, you know what I mean?
So that we're actually showed a lot of pictures. It makes it very difficult for us to to and defend against. However, if you're attacking against us, you're kind of going right. Just shut down their defensive play, get, you know, get into a bit of arm wrestle because they'll just they'll carry quite aggressively in the twenty two. And we're actually not that efficient inside the twenty two and. You know, I will just hold onto the ball, like France will just play from anywhere then, unlike with the French, is just the way they're playing.
I mean, they don't need much to to create and actually are pretty efficient when they do have it.
No, not what the players have. Are you making any changes this weekend? If you look across? So so are you making any changes?
I mean, I don't know what story is McKeller. I don't know if he's fit or not, but maybe do you bring him back onto the bench anyway, at least if he's fit because we know how good he is. Obviously you're not changing Twitter because you're not to come back in. Your Hely starts their second. No, there's no one to come in there because Henderson is still out. It's always Abad's into the back row. I don't think you can change that back or after the way they played the weekend.
I really don't think you can know. And there's no one else really there. There is some good players there, but I'll let you know, I'd love to bring Josh my underwear back in, but I can drop it from at the moment because the way he played the weekend.
So it would be unfair, as good as Vanderveer is to you know, I think I think really the only change potentially Arazi if Artisphere.
Yeah. Well, obviously Ringrose is gonna try to opt for Henshall, which is so. Yeah. And you have Robbie Williams in there.
And, you know, if you put Stockdale back onto the wing and put Conway at fullback and the hurdles are already as bad, I will be at fullback. In the past he paid for Loynes.
I did. I didn't like starting to fall back to me again. I'll be perfectly honest with you.
I didn't I really didn't like really see I was going to be I was going the other way. I thought he was turning up quite a bit and getting a bit more time to run with the ball. And I think he's actually unfortunate with J.R. pulling back. I think so, yeah.
Look, like I don't know if he I don't know if they change it.
I mean, like I'm not sure what they probably want to probably want if whoever he went on the weekend, that was going to be his fullback for next to games. And we know that he's not out of touch unless Stockdale had an absolute disaster of a game. He didn't have a disaster of a game, but he didn't. What was it or I don't know. He was like an eyeball.
Yeah, well, like I think he's shown enough to keep in there.
And particularly on the attacking side, I think he was very aggressive. I think his positioning was a bit better than that, maybe previously defensively as well. And I think all the players have look, there's no denying it.
There's there's a there's a. A theme of Lenzer players through to through the team looked at a farm team at the moment. That's the way it works, is understandable unless unless you're Englander's to get on to a letter.
But I think you're seeing I think you're seeing like you're seeing a lot of guys adapt to the way it's not the Lonsway playing, but they're definitely you can see there's some sort of similar philosophy between fire and cash with Colin Lancaster in how they're playing in terms of the shape and throwing about and even the kicking to a certain degree.
And you're seeing players play with a lot of freedom and you're seeing people adapt like Merr is playing a lot more free. And I was really impressed with CJ. You know, he's actually get better at deciding and what rook's that I was actually more like.
He's very good, obviously attacking Michael Carey all day for you. He was showing once or twice to looking to move it as opposed to curry straight away, which is good because he needs to show those options. But I was really impressed with him defensively because he wasn't chasing every single rock and and all of them, the whole team were really picking and choosing because they've so many good players. They were just they were letting guys decide where to go after they were just chop and get them on the ground, making them commit numbers.
And we ended up most of the time were like twelve people in the defensive line, two in the backfield, you know, one kind of at a rook.
So that's a very much a Leinster thing, isn't it? Like, that's something the Leinster have been very good at in the last couple of years. It's a it's also the All Blacks do it very well for Rocca's dead. Do not go in. There is no need.
No, no. But you'll see. You'll see. You'll see. I don't like the guy who chops and back and back. And so they have to commit people to the rock attacking Moyes or you'll see someone have a sniff kind of slash counter rock and force them to commit and then bail out. You'll end up like they'll have three or four and a rock attacking wise and you'll have everyone on your feet, you know what I mean? And and then when you make it a three to three to six second rock or like nine out of France on average, I have a four second rock that's given you plenty of time to have your defensive line set to come off aggressively.
And, you know, which is really impressive in general. But so you just come back to I saying, like, I've seen a lot of the player, it looks like a lot of players just evolving or adapting to the way Farrell and Carter are trying to get them to play, which is, you know, which is really, really exciting going forward and to the to the Paris game kind of makes you think I like. OK, yeah.
I've never done this before, but like.
You know, they could and I want them to it's not going to be easy if they do pull it off Fairplay because I think England are alone, are going to get four against four tries against Italy and we will not get to five points.
I mean, but looking at the actual like before we go on to going a preview on the actual Ireland and France game, looking at France the weekend after you watch that game on price. Right. I mean, I was absolutely super impressed with Dupont. I just think he kind of he did support lines. He runs the smart players. And that's what kind of say like when you look at him like it's not that. Yes, he's fast. Yes, he's got a beautiful pass on him, but he's just such an Italian.
It's like he just reads the game better than anyone else that I've seen in a very, very long time. He's doing that thing that way. I love that phrase Wayne Gretzky used to say he goes. It it's not something I'm going to botrytis, but it's like I don't go to where to put the pokies is, I go to where I think it's going to be put.
So he's kind of you're kind of you're kind of he's pretty everything he does.
And, you know, I try to do it as I as I have of my career and different players, kind of Karbala. Saxon's very good as well. I keep going positive.
Like, yeah, well, not necessarily players but like.
Like watch Chani, if he makes a pass, he'll actually keep running straight up the field unless he's doing one of those loops right, like a Brumbies play, you know, and he'll keep running up the field thinking that if this makes a big break.
Yeah, always. You know what I mean? And smart nines do that the whole time as well. I think that paranoia is probably one of the best in the world actually at that.
And and so France in general, like I think they were just way they followed the line when they make a halftime break.
Is it impressive to say I shouldn't curse and we got to give it the last one, but just beat that out?
But like, you know, it's it's very impressive how they flood the gate once they make a line break and how positive they're looking to play.
And it's a style appears to have in their back to look at us and make the kind of guy that can snipe and break any time. So I'm going to follow this guy. Freekeh were kind of always keeps his hands free. He gets and, you know, right off. I forget how I break the line from anywhere against anyone at any time. So if you just stay near him, you're like, yeah, probably three out of five times he's getting through your shot down his shoulder, left or right.
Doesn't matter. It's kind of like it's like playing with Sonny Bill, isn't it?
Yeah, it is. It is. Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
So I mean, it's going to be interesting because because obviously a lot of our tackles at the weekend were quite low because we are top of them getting to the ground and you know, but we just got to be careful of this awful old game.
We've got to be careful of.
We we just got to be like put it like we just got to be on point all the time, because if you these guys don't need much, you know, they really don't need much. I think it's very hard.
And it was like I just I just hope we don't get carried away with that game. I don't think we are. I think it was like, you know.
It was a good first outing, first test in a long time, good ought to have now you've got a big opportunity and we don't even have to get into what is worth the RFU because there are a few numbers that came out on Friday.
So we know well, what you know, this is worth a lot of money to the union.
You're talking about money. They're like, that's what I feel quite like in any university or starlin or whatever is coming at the moment would be modestly appreciated. Yeah, yeah.
And you know, because the players have already taken the players have already taken a 10 percent pay cut and another five percent deferral.
And the union had the option to go to a 15 percent pay cut. And they're definitely flying the flags that they're going to cut the players salaries regardless. And they're not they're not having salary negotiations with some key players who are up this year for their contracts. They would have started now and they haven't. So, like. It wouldn't be I wouldn't want to be we negotiated a contract this year or the next two years, if I'm honest, because you're you, because then the other thing is, is like, where's the market abroad?
Is there a market abroad with everything that's going on? Do you want to go abroad? Everything's going up. Not time to be honest with you. Like and there's there's a few big names there. I saw that are deferred that are kind of five or six top internationals that have already been told we won't be renewing our contract for now. Hang tight and hang tight. Isn't great anyone right now you might be out of a job. There are what then?
Then you don't have have no leverage when it comes to negotiating the camp. Can Dick Durbin clever about it? Well, because they have a lot of money, but like take them back into a corner and go and literally offer your contract two months out. Go. OK, ok, Johnny. OK on our OK Peter, whoever it is and just go look you obviously seen the way things are. We can't keep you on for another two years, but at fifty per cent your salary on any kind of like OK, there's nowhere else I can go and I'm a professional player at the primary or whatever.
Like I'm not just going to say no and go get a job and leidel or something like that. Do you know what I mean? I have to take the offer kids, because normally like you, we go, do I, I whatever, I'm off to France or I'm off here. There's very little opportunities now at the moment.
So it's I wonder if that plays into their head coming into this, because this is this is a dynamic that we've never had before. No. You know, even with foot and mouth, it didn't affect this part, nor not will we'll never see this again in our lifetime. That's a fact. Well, I mean, I don't know. I don't know. Well well, I can't I can't go through this again in my lifetime, is what I'm saying.
OK, I want to know one pandemic is enough for any man in any life or woman.
That's that's a fact. Coming up, we're going off back to the game. And who is going to win? Let's be honest. Let's just pin it down. Obviously, you want Ireland to get a bonus point and you want to win.
But if you're being realistic, I think I think Ireland I think Ireland can win. I think it's going to be very tough for us to win with a bonus points. Yes. I think I think I would I think you phrased that the same way I would phrase it, not that I think our team will win. I think Ireland can win. I don't think they can win with a bonus point unless it's a miracle match, which we've seen a few of them in arguably over the years at the international level.
But if I been just thinking about this as if I'm not an Irish fan, I'm just a person watching the game, France are going to win the weekend. As far as I'm concerned. That's the end of it. I don't I don't even think Ireland will beat them. I think they can beat them. But from what I saw the weekend and from what I saw from France, I still think and I know we're looking at home advantage, but there is a bit of traveling self-involved there.
And it is and it is in this time to France. And I like on the crackpot, I would say a French win is what's going to happen maybe in Ireland, close win. But I think the probability of us actually winning the Six Nations is incredibly low because you want to have to get the ball on this point. Are England not get the one that's going to get to Italy? And I don't see that happening. So sorry, guys.
I see. I see England being pretty strong. I certainly know knowing knowing what what it's like England now. If we score. If we win with a bonus point. The odds are probably in their favor, but if you ask me, do I think Ireland can win? Yes, I agree.
Yeah, they can, but we can.
Can they do with a bonus point? I think it's going to be bloody tough, but but they're showing enough. They showed they're showing an evolution, had a plan, but I'm just I'm just I'm just. The only thing you could hope for there, Reuters, is if you rock on and we all know France can be a bit mad at times. And if France decided to play a little bit loose and a bit mad and it turns into a really open game and Ireland get a close win, but they win by to win by five tries to four and then not enough, do you know what I mean?
But I actually think the opposite. I think if it's an arm wrestling game and it's like a set time and again, I win and I actually have a really good chance of getting the bonus point, OK, because I just keep to the corner corner and mull over it. Yeah. And the place at face kind of game getting 20 to get into pick and go or to go from all that sort of thing. Right. But if we, if it gets open, I actually think that will cause those problems.
Yeah. No, I believe it. Adatto on and on the game we go game. We think maybe there's a chance and I always say so you say there there's a chance here. You know, there's a.
That's all we need, man. That's all we need. Next up, we hear from Ireland Captain Johnny Sexton ahead of this weekend's game in Paris. Johnny, you know how difficult it is to go over to Paris and get away in bus to get a bonus point when it's almost an impossible task?
Yeah, well, I suppose we just have to wait and see, don't we? But all we can control at the moment is our performance. And so what we're trying to, I suppose, emphasize to everyone in the squad is that we need to get our performance right no matter what, if it's just to win, if it's a bonus point, when, you know, we're still going to have to play well no matter what. So let's just focus on that aspect.
And, you know, hopefully we know that if we can perform well, that we'll give ourselves chances and then it's up to us to try and take those chances on the day and be clinical.
It's hard to escape, Johnny, two years ago, and that's that famous goal. But does it feel like a lifetime ago now at this stage?
Yeah, a lot's happened since. Yeah, I feel it does feel like a long, long time ago. And but it's great to be back in that situation where we've got a trophy on the line. We know that it's in our own minds in many ways, no matter what happens in the Games before, it will still be going on to the pitch, being able to win the trophy, which is it's what you play for. It's you play you train hard for these big days.
And, yeah, we're looking forward to it now. And like I said, we're just trying to concentrate on our performance and make sure if we can get that right and it gives us a chance.
Johnny, you said you've got a great balance in the squad at the moment with a lot of those young guys coming through with such a big game on the horizon. Is there anything you'd be saying to them this week?
No, I don't think I don't think it was anything special. No, I think it's it's like I've just said at the moment, this part of the week is all about nailing our our detail in and around or our rugby stuff, you know what I mean? And at times we did that really well on Saturday against Italy. And at times we didn't. And they were two times we got ourselves into trouble. So, yeah, that's what we've been trying to fix up, fix up those those things that we did wrong against Italy and and try and make sure we got a more complete performance on Saturday.
We know we won't be perfect and never will be in Paris because there'll be times where where they get on top. And obviously, you know, any times I played there in the past, it's been 80000 supporters for them going crazy. We won't have that. So it's I suppose it's a neutral venue as well. So I suppose that will be in our favour a little.
But it looks like he's going to get his cap this weekend. Johnny, what can you say about him having spent all these years together and what does he bring to the team? Yes, if you got picked, that's an incredible feat for a guy to you know, you look at the guys that have 100 cops to have special powers, they are you don't get there easily. You know, I don't think, you know, every player that's that's in that category are legends of the game, really in Ireland.
And I think he'll he'll he allowed himself that legacy. If he if he gets that 100th cop and like, he deserves it. He's so professional. And in the way he goes about his business, he's had so many and sorry, he's had one particularly bad injury that he took a while to to get back from. And and then once he did, you know, he put an unbelievable amount of work into to gotten himself back. So I'm absolutely sure from I'm very good friends with him.
Obviously, first and foremost, I was his family very well and his wife Laura. And I know they'll be so proud of him. And and, yeah, it's another layer onto the whole entire story in terms of, you know, we want to we want to if it is on this cap, we want to to honor him in the best way possible, which will be trying to win the game, you know what I mean? It was same when we were playing with First Kopper's last week.
And, you know, we wanted to make the day special for them.
What are the areas you think you need to improve on this weekend, Johnny? Based on the win over Italy?
And I suppose there wasn't one thing in particular who was like, you know, when you're at this level, it's you know, you're you're talking our defense for 90 percent of the game was good. And then there was a couple of things so that, you know, then back into it and a couple of things in our attack that were really good. But then there was a couple of things that weren't so good. So there's not one area of our game that is is the only thing we're working on.
We're trying to work on on all areas, not including includes like set start, starter play attack. You know, there was some good stuff. Again, there was some average stuff. So all parts of our game really, you know, we weren't perfect in any and we weren't terribly bad in any either. So it's just we know that we're going to have to be a lot better in all areas on Saturday.
Just go back there. And what you said about us potentially being a neutral stadium, what no one there in the stands, you know, French teams in the past have been known to, I suppose, feed off the crowd. Do you think that's going to be maybe not walking to her advantage, but I suppose it's going to work in your favor that there would be no fans in the stadium, perhaps?
Yeah, you could. You could say that. But I've been in the state of France before with the crowd have turned on them and and then it can become a positive for us in the negative for them. So you can look at it whatever way you want it. It's obviously it's more like a neutral venue. Obviously, they've had a weekend playing there last weekend and and they'll be familiar with us. And and look, it's like obviously we'd prefer to play in an empty stadium then than play with 80000 French supporters.
But look, it is what it is. It's not ideal. We'd still probably part of me wishes there was a crowd there. You know, we miss it. We miss the supporters, but hopefully we won't be too long getting them back in.
What is culturally, Johnny, with this current French team? A lot of young players. And there was a lot tougher.
I think they're just ability to to score at, not in. And I suppose that points to the to the individual flair that they have, you know, declined to make it at halfbacks. You sold him against Wales last weekend. Who, you know, looks like, you know, why I was, ah, defending. Well, and then I don't know where they're gone, you know what I mean? Vocativ has obviously been in great form, and I think he's we've been doing well.
So from a market point of view, they've just got threats, trade, and we're going to have to be unbelievably, you know, connected and together, because if you showed them that those dog in defense or add those big gaps, you know, they're true, treated like pretty quick. So, yeah, from a market point of view and then up front, they've got they've got power, don't they? They've got big man and lots of power.
So it's a big ask. We know that. But we're preparing ourself for a big performance.
Thanks, Johnnie, and best of luck this weekend. I'm Smith again. Watson to William Williams could step. I need some support, maybe, maybe not. Lee Williams looking all around, where's that support now? Come from Jordan Davis, The Daily Show, those whales and Sergeant Davis inside and out is going to be finished and it's finished. That is one of the great lines test cries who said they needed a school in high school to live boy lives matter movement to leave, leave for dead trees and doesn't have the place.
He's inside the inside center. Do you think there's a job there? But Davis gets there daily, inside and outside. That is brilliant, Davis. I mean, who's on the board? Sean O'Brien.
He's got the legs to move on to. World knows about everybody. Barbarians, that's the weakest bit disappointed in them. Like, I know we won't say the names that we know. Everyone knows the names and stuff that were involved. And they're not just boys. They're they're internationals. They're senors. Couple of fuckin ex captains there. I was disappointed.
Nice finish. And to in their career. Yeah. You know what I mean. Finish in their career. You know, they had a hotel room. They could not and they could have had a few points in the hotel. Did not insult from that normal. Tell them to not drink and not have a bit of fun. Of course you're going to be finest body barbarians, boss. You were asked to do one thing, stay in a hotel room, don't cost I double.
And now you've got the game canceled. That's etiquettes. The last night, three or four million in television revenue for a lot of these guys. It was their final chance to play an international game. It's just it's silly more than anything. And it's disappointing. And you'd expect better. Um, yeah, I think it's disappointing for all because, like, look, I look at the it's the one thing that I would have been eligible for but never got a chance to play for.
Right. And I would have loved it. I would have loved it and. You know, I always have the debate of what I would have warned for, but that's for sure. It's an honor like, you know, it's such a famous club, but it would be an honor to represent who would have been huge.
And I think I think with the lads, the lads probably woke up and went, oh, shit. Yeah, you know, I say they're really disappointed in themselves because. You know, it's like. It's just I mean, they're in such a privileged position with people losing jobs all over the place, you know what I mean? Yeah, you know, a. That's what the most disappointing thing is about it. You know, they could have stayed in a hotel room, pissed up in the room with each other and would be fine.
You know what I mean? And it's not the same. And they knew, like, you know, I mean, everyone knew that. And so, look, we don't have to labor the point, but it is disappointing. I think the players disappointed. I must commend guys who put their hand up and this because, you know, like, everyone makes mistakes. That's fine. You know what I mean? At the end of the day, like, what was the mistake they made, OK?
They kind of went outside the bubble and broke those rules. But at least no one's you know, it's nothing to do here.
Well, she had twice as far as the artist and isn't. But I think one thing that we can take, we can take a learning from this, not just as not just what players are to learn from this. Everyone take it on offense is the fact that we complained and we mourned and I said contain them all. And about the jobs being lost here and the restaurants and al-Qaida, it just goes to show, like once you get a few drinks until those inhibitions go out the window and you make stupid decisions.
And that's one of the main reasons the policy was always there. It's not that we don't trust Republicans to do it well, but the reason the Irish, its people are stupid. And as soon as you get 40 points on your inhibitions, go out the window. Here we go. Here we do this. We do that. And then you wake up the next morning, go, oh, look, I think that's the reason I do. I look, I know you are public, and I think that's one of the reasons I think and when you see things that happen now, I want to see the pubs open because I trust Republicans, but it's not the Republicans and it's the people I don't trust.
Do you know what I mean?
Yeah, but the thing is, man, they just go back to their gaff and they all get pissed off in the house and everyone comes over and that's that's what the majority of cases are. We don't go down that avenue right now when I have to stick up for the pubs in that. No, I know. I agree. I but I think it's just the whole thing is annoying enough.
We're in in a fight as it is with insurance companies.
We don't need to get into more ice.
I mean, when I was reading your book, we needed the chance just like that in France game.
We just want to have a chance. We wanted Loynes much organization like we like satellites or if we kind of go too far into line up and we can talk about the fact they're paying too much.
It's kind of like Christmas, isn't it? Is like you can't start talking about the line.
It's like, you know, like Brandon Thomas here can talk to you soon, like the decorations of the month, go on a holiday.
I think in a normal year we might even talk about lines. But because everything are pushed back and we still have to finish six nations, we still have to do our nation's. And that's kind of OK.
I don't talk about the airlines. We're not talking lines like team squad waits until after the autumn series.
Yeah, that's fair, because you can pick a Lewinsky matter. What I'm doing here is based on the performances in the old days, of course, after that's that's a rule. But looking at the match itself, I never thought of it until she was like I was like, oh, they're actually selling tickets for sequins. It looks like June. Jesus, here we go. I don't know. I don't see fans be allowed in. And if they're allowed in, we're definitely going because that could be one of the first games.
And why the first game to get back into what fans fly over tomorrow, if you like that one. Do you know what I mean? You get to play. You get to watch the Lions play Japan. Edinburgh is a savage city to go out and it's a savage area in general. And I think, OK, that's up far that I could be the first time where there's a few restrictions raised and you get to go with the airlines much longer.
And so I'm like, I get tickets.
Whether or not we'll be allowed go. Always another take, but I'm getting tickets.
I'm going to when I saw that announcement, I always like a nice oh, I think it's very it's kind of something that they started doing business over last while I was playing that game kind of before they touch down wherever they are like. And 09, I think they played The Barbarians.
You come away like barbarians. Was that when you went to Page mean that was in 2013.
And because I play that game. Yeah. And I play that game. I play that game. Absolutely. Dying of a two day hangover.
I was the one with the ridiculous heat read all the fans around the table, not fans now was an actual actual fans around the stadium to keep you cool.
It was still so we played on the Saturday we played. We played I think was European final on the Saturday it was the Champions Cup final or maybe fourteen final sometime on Saturday. Right. And obviously went on the smash and. And then on the Sunday, we flew over to LA, so no, flew over the lines and then I try to remember and we flew to Hong Kong on the Monday, and then we thought because we were played on the Saturday, that we'd all be fine.
Actually, we were told on the Monday, you're not playing in this game in Hong Kong. So there was also in the last hour, guys, and we all went to Pakistan on the line there.
So I'll get my dates on on topic. But we went down, I think, with the first night we basically got to Hong Kong and then they called us in for training the next day. And I think Mike Brown's Driscol heart rate, I think was in the low 200 in the training session and and all of us were like, I thought I was going to pass out in the train, just watch the heat and intensity we were training and.
But you got to push, right? And then I get the alchol going. Oh, yeah. By the way, I am Samso injured now. And can you come up onto the bench? And I was told on the Tuesday night before the game, I was like, OK, at least the worst.
No, but I was I was still I was still playing over and shock to bits on the Wednesday after Friday and coming off.
But anyway, I digress.
And the I, I think it's great. It's a great country and they're carrying on my my sister in law is from Osaka in Japan. So my brother's son and daughter will be excited about the opportunity to go up there and see the cherry blossoms up close and personal in front of the lines. The Merrifield would be a great trip from the do from London. Yeah. And I think would be a great game if it goes ahead and would be better if if it has people at the games.
Exactly. It's something to look forward to. Please God. As if defends its friends are getting an unbiased. Let's hear from British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland following Canterbury official charity launch earlier today. Hi, Warren. Hope all is well. How is your planning going for the tour so far and to what extent has it been disrupted by the pandemic?
To be honest, the the planning has gone incredibly well. Alan Phillips done a great job, probably a long way ahead of where we were in the last tour in terms of planning and everything sort of in place. In terms of the pain, the McStuffins we're just going to hit thinking everything's going to be 100 percent fine by the next eight months, and that's that's our planning at the moment. You know, obviously with everything, you've got to have some contingency plans and we haven't really spoken too much about.
That's kind of been. Would it be reactive and seen what happens over the next few months, but as far as the planning has gone on, pretty happy where we are at the moment in terms of the organization having will already have been done a rakyat in South Africa looking at hotels and. Training venues and other facilities, and as a staff, we're looking to do that probably in the down week of the Six Nations to to get out there just to sign everything off.
You've been to all three lines, destination zero as a head coach or as part of the coaching ticket at this stage. Warren, what makes Saturday traffic so special?
Yeah, they're all different. I mean, if the benefit of South Africa was obviously the time zone, so that that's a huge difference from a traveling perspective and jet lag and everything is a little bit easier to get players out there quicker from from an energy perspective. And then, you know, the South Africans as people are very much like New Zealand and incredibly passionate about the game they get. They're very vocal, very supportive is a beautiful country. And I would encourage ReliOn supporter to get there and they'll have a great time at.
You know, looking forward to it, just pretty excited about the opportunity, and again, it's another challenge. In 2009, we were world champions, the world champions last time. So it doesn't come any harder than facing world champions in their own backyard.
How disruptive is it we are not having those English players available for that warm up game against Japan in March?
Yeah, I mean, I think we you know, that's not 100 percent final a moment. Hopefully there's some negotiations that will go on between now and then. You know, we just have to look at it. You know, potentially if England have a great six nations, you could argue that a third to half of the squad could potentially be missing, not just for that Japan, but we're planning a camp in Wales the week before so that, you know, that would be disruptive, given how limited the time is and preparation, I can tell you that we will be taking the best team that we possibly can, the best players.
But the hard reality of the situation is that, you know, I just hope it doesn't impact on any players of any selection because you end up with a 50/50 call on a player and a player that's able to be there for the weeks, Camp and Wales and the weeks preparation for the Japan game, you might get the nod against someone who's watching or being available until only one week before the first match and South Africa. So, you know, it's it's a challenge at the moment.
And I just hope that. Some common sense will prevail and in some negotiations, and I fully understand what the premiership final implies is not being available because I tied up with that. But I just think I would love to see players being released for the lions. I think we get full support from from club coaches because the way I look at it, you know, player goes away on a Lions tour and it's successful. And the amount of interest it creates just outside the general rugby following from other supporters and other people from other sports and potentially come back as a superstar.
And then you can promote that when you start the following season and come along and see you lions players at your local club and generate more interest. So, you know, I think I just hope that we can come to some agreement where we do have access to the players. You seem a bit exasperated talking about this potential roadblock. Warren, do you think a resolution can be found?
I haven't always been the easiest to deal with. So, you know, they have their own ways of doing things. So look at the moment. Nothing, nothing set in stone have come out and made a statement, so. It's a little bit like brick, so it doesn't you know, it's a bit of a game in terms of, you know, hopefully we can end up with a deal that is satisfactory for all. That's kind of what I'm hoping at the moment.
You know, I don't think it's worth firing shots at each other. And, you know, hopefully we can come to the same agreement. You know, maybe the you know, the players association, the players might. Voice their opinion about what they think about that. I think that's a pretty powerful voice to be heard from, from employers and about their opportunities and going on alliances and having the best chance and the best preparation to go on tour.
And like I said, and I just it's from the it's a little bit frustrating at the moment, but I'm just very hopeful that we can come to come together and and make those plays that aren't available, because I plan in the final to have the best chance and the best preparation to put themselves in the shop window to go to South Africa and and, you know, put them give themselves the best chance of. Flying potentially in the Test matches, and that's what it's all about.
Thanks, Juan. And best of luck with the preparations. No slate always Gersten Slate is pretty. Individual brilliance from having just finish off quickly, because as you were talking there about the excellence and staff and you're kind of we were saying last week, would they be up for it after after winning Jamie sculpturally transaction for a couple of days. But they went on they wanted to double. You could see they probably probably did have a few points that the Japanese final because they just about age of us was even the fact they were down 11 players, taken nothing away from what it was but shock.
Today, you were talking whate'er about, you know, there's a lot of Leinster guys in the yard and team and stuff like which is on the time because Landstar and Farm, he meant is he and it's like official squad now today, like is full squad for going forward for the rest of the autumn. Tarty six months. What tree. Extra bears and his whole squad. That's it. Yeah.
It's, it's, it's, it's a bit disappointing. It's not.
I mean people say that people is it's our Saracen's dominate and that's always going to be the usual called a six or seven or eight of them, whatever it is like. But like no boatman's bowler has got left out. He brought up Hill and obviously Noel is not in charge and he has slid in there and someone else can remember who. It's shocking like, isn't it? I think it's it's tough.
Like it's like I mean, in fairness, like who does he come in for?
Sevens. Yeah, well, that's the thing as well. Like when you've got guys like he's got there has always been a bowler and Earl probably has to remember that at the moment, like an artist playing after the class and on as well. So well at the same time just sort of predicted life, isn't it.
Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Like I mean, yeah, I'm sure to be a lot of extra players disappointed, but it probably feed into into that kind of mindset going forward. They seem like not that they don't care, but getting called up to England, I'm sure they do. But I mean they seem like a really good club and they seem like. It's very much about the team, but the squad, so I don't think it'll affect them too much, but. Yeah, I think the club would be disappointed.
Yeah, would you be disappointed as a parent? I mean, there's nothing more you can do. I imagine like you go back to your career when you were a kid. Your what? No fewer time demands. Right. And you you're playing for less friends for all year. You won the pro 14, you won nine, and you were named your being paired here and you didn't get big. And it's like, oh, what else? What else do I have to do?
Is all everything I've got. Are you having a laugh? Do you know what I mean? Yeah.
Like you never know the way Eddie's thinking, you know. I mean, you never know. You never know. He kind of plays a little bit like 40 each, as I call it. He's kind of playing, you know what I mean, a couple of steps ahead. You know, maybe he's doing it on purpose for different reasons. He might bring guys into train that we will only find out afterwards and all this sort of stuff.
I think if you look at his selections over the last few years, you kind of see I don't think he picks players based on form. He picks players that can play the system that he wants them to play to get me. Yeah, because he look to look at all his experience of over the years and a lot of guys that have been overlooked. And they're even though they're playing class. Well, it's just like maybe he doesn't fit into anybody's fit and it got to a final word fit.
That's the word.
How do they fit in with the system, the culture, the way he wants to play and look, the stuff going on, the background that we never know about there always is. Right.
But and I think for players, it's feel like if I think of my own self, I think of back in like, oh, five or six games is the dominant guy there. And you're trying to do a lot to get picked. And I didn't really get to nod until two thousand and eight six nations and and the hand was kind of forced, you know what I mean? And so, you know, but you use it, you use it as fuel to get better.
And I think that all the players will do and that's kind of dangerous when you think about it, because that means the team will get better to kind of get better. And they are going to.
But I think they've got a good culture. Yeah, they've got a good culture, a good production line of players and boxers seem to know what he's doing. They're bringing it together. Yeah, I and the fact that they're really clamping down on making sure that you stick within the rules and that's going to that's going to force the hand of a lot of clubs actually back to the point to be talking about the RFU money. It's just going to make that market as a player.
Very, very interesting in terms of like, is the market there to pay the players the money they were getting paid in the first place?
And I think because everybody knows that all of few clubs that always have money like you see it's now in the premiership and the football, no matter how tight things get, there's always a few clubs select will always be a couple of different clubs like so racing in there. And there'll be a couple of clubs like, well, not so much Saracen's anymore, but there's three or four clubs in the premiership that will always have money and then they might.
Yeah, but no, no, no. It's not a question of having the money. It's a question of are they can they keep the guys in the salary cap and say, yes, I understand where I'm from?
Yeah, no, it's going to be it's the market is going to be crazy over the next, I'd say 12 to 18 months over Hugel is where what's going on. You've got to figure out whether these teams are coming into April 14 and they are still at loggerheads over in the premiership whether or not to make it a Tartine Team Ring-fence League, like at the moment, as things stand, the championship is going ahead and Saracen's, if not leading to plant in Aline's year, and they're going have no matches at all since then and saying, oh, it's going to be funny, it's going to be any and we'll have to end on that.
What do you think? But I think the show yeah, I think they are either fully support the championship. I make it a proper league because at the moment they don't fund it. They don't actually fund it properly. So do you fully fund that that championship so that it's a proper tier two system that can look, as you saw, like Exeter came to that only ten years ago? You know, they're in a championship. They came out with a different vision for all the way through it.
Now, older European and premiership champions, you've seen teams kind of up and down your your last few years. It's either you fix it and you funded fully or you get rid of it and you go, OK, for anything offensive, you have to what do I want to do at the moment? It's neater, I think.
Yeah, I think I personally I think it's trying too much to be like soccer. And I don't think we have the volume of players or and or a certain standard to to have. A competitive young man and have a good standard, I think, Ring-fence the whole lot, and. Used them as feeder clubs or whatever, then to bring talent through, but there's a lot of teams out there isn't there isn't enough teams are similar to. You know what I mean?
So that's great. That's got to be another plan for maybe next week or the next couple of weeks or we'll just have to we'll have to work out. Another word will be a problem. We just have to figure out.
We'll draw up all the sort of. I think they're listening. I think I will send off. All right, lads, this is this is what we want in the pro 14 or pro 60 or whatever it is. This is what you do in the premiership. We don't give a shit about the French. You can do what you want. You're not going anywhere.
And just because you were doing on screen. And then we work out then how many teams you want in the six nations and who's in and who's out. And then we go, right, lads, we give them a nice little shiny black little folder. That's enough. OK, so summation of what we should chat about today.
Fucking that, you know.
But I said Kurson again, jeez, I can't go on all week to tell him to stop like I mean just it's just ridiculous because have is his Modot whatsit at this stage.
I grandma used to do when you put something to you, you just, you just add it and I will usually put a beep in and and so summate.
OK, call Ireland. France. I love France. I'm saying sorry I'm in San Francisco. I'm going Ireland, OK? And. England, Italy, bonus points and bonus point, and I want to have Scotland, Wales, does anyone really care? Do we care?
There's not one bill that's always right.
If there's some old horse to take care or so goes.
That's it for this week show. Hope you enjoyed it. And chatty again next week. Stay safe.