Eddie O'Sullivan on how Ireland's schedule could turn it into "a really bad Six Nations"

But ex-Ireland head coach also looks at best case scenario on Off The Ball alongside Gavin Cummiskey

Rory Best, Ireland, Joe Schmidt, Six Nations, trophy

Ireland captain Rory Best and Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt with the RBS 6 Nations trophy ©INPHO/James Crombie

Eddie O'Sullivan hopes a sense of panic does not take hold if Ireland lose to Wales in their Six Nations opener on Sunday.

After the Wales game, Joe Schmidt's side then face tough away games in France and England.

With the schedule being unkind to Ireland on paper, ex-national team head coach Eddie spoke to Off The Ball about the best case scenario and first, the doomsday one. 

"The trouble with this game this weekend is if we lose this, [then there are] two away games in Paris and Twickenham, everyone starts panicking because it could turn into a really bad Six Nations for us and that's a worry. And that's a reality. So this game is almost so important," he said, before looking at the "optimistic view" of beating Wales and then taking on a France side under a new head coach.

Eddie O'Sullivan  ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

"We have a good history against France in Paris recently and the whole thing could turn on its head, and after three matches, if you'd won them, you could be saying this is Grand Slam time. If we win the first three games, there's no way in God's earth you could see Italy and Scotland stopping us winning the Grand Slam. But it's a massive ask, there's no doubt about it."

The Irish Times' Cummiskey, who pointed out that Wales' front five is superior, also gave his take on why the IRFU and Munster were able to keep Simon Zebo in Ireland, while Eddie shared his thoughts on the recent uncertainty over a host of players' futures and how "it's not good" for any of the parties involved.

Cummiskey also analysed the "impressive" aspects of Connacht's win over Scarlets in the Guinness Pro 12, and explained that "they're playing very similar to Munster back when Munster were dominant".