Off The Ball
Off The Ball

21.01 22 Feb 2016


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Former Leinster head coach Matt Williams says Irish attacking rugby has gone "backwards".

The Australian has been critical of the Irish approach in attack recently and during the Rugby World Cup.

Joining ex-Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan on Off The Ball tonight, he outlined the issues that concern him most.

"I'm not here to attack Joe Schmidt, I'm not here to just try and say negative things for the point of negativity. I want to see Ireland play well. But after the World Cup, there was a great divide between the North and South and we needed to change," he said, pointing out how Argentina have changed their approach in a relatively short space of time.

"Really, Irish attacking rugby has gone backwards and it has been in an exceptionally poor state for the last 15 months. Since the November internationals in 2014, Ireland have only scored more than two tries on one occasion." 

Matt Williams ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

He also added that "the system is just not working", "predictable" and that the players are not the issue. 

Williams, who also broke down where Irish attacking rugby has been failing, also said that he feels like a "lone voice" on the matter within the Irish media and feels if Ireland don't change and have a "grown-up think", the next World Cup will see the same result.

He also made a point about the age profile of the team that went up against France the weekend before last.

"The team that played against France, I think it was eight players, maybe nine, were in their 30s. Now, that team is not going to take us forward for four years," he said, contrasting that with a younger French team.

Eddie also gave his take and said: "There has to be some evolution. I don't think revolution is the solution."


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