WATCH: Is Andy Farrell the right man to replace Joe Schmidt?

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WATCH: Is Andy Farrell the right man to replace Joe Schmidt?


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Our shared dream is for Joe Schmidt to exit stage left to a rousing round of applause, with the sheen of Mr Webb Ellis glinting in his hands.

It was down to Matt Williams and Eddie O'Sullivan to ponder whether Andy Farrell is the best supporting cast member to take over from Joe, having been announced as Schmidt's successor by the IRFU this morning.

Matty believes that there is a 'question mark' over Andy Farrell's ability to step up from a defensive coaching brief to a role as a head coach, and use the example of Les Kiss as a warning from Irish rugby history.

"Les is a great guy, a champion fella. I'm not talking him down. But when you haven't been the head coach of anything [...], I think that is a very tough gig."

Eddie also spoke of the differences between being in a supporting role, and what changes when you become the head coach at the peak of international rugby.

"It's a very different world when you're assistant coach. When you are head coach, you do get up on the high-wire and there's no safety net.

"The stuff that you deal with on day-to-day - I would describe it as if you are an assistant coach you are juggling three balls, but if you are a head coach then you are juggling ten. That's a massive step up.

"He's been around the camp for long enough to see how Joe Schmidt operates it, but he has to have his own stamp as well - he can't just replicate Joe Schmidt's way of doing things.

"He has to have his own way - every coach wants to put his stamp on how a team plays and how the team prepares. So he will have seen it in operation, but there is nothing like being there and everything comes back to you. I mean, everything comes back to you - every small detail is your responsibility.

"But they must feel he's ready for it, the IRFU have talked to him, the players have been around him, so the feedback is that he's ready for this.

"It's a pretty big gig to get first up as a first team coach, but it's a year away [...] but it's a big change for an assistant coach to go from that to being a head coach. There's no doubt about that."

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