Tommy Bowe and Mike Ross share brilliant insight into Andy Farrell's methods

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Tommy Bowe and Mike Ross share brilliant insight into Andy Farrell's methods


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Like the national soccer team, Ireland's rugby set-up has its future set in stone with the news that Andy Farrell will succeed Joe Schmidt after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Farrell has been credited with making a positive impact since becoming Ireland defence coach in 2016.

Tonight on Wednesday Night Rugby, we were joined by two recent Ireland internationals with experience of working with Farrell: Tommy Bowe and Mike Ross. 

"I don't think you can be anything but impressed with him," said Bowe.

"He has a real charisma. He is a true alpha male, a great leader. You can see why throughout his career with Wigan how successful he was and then to go into coaching, he had a great impact.

"I thought he was really top notch and to see how far he's gone with Ireland, and working under Joe Schmidt shows the quality of him." 

In terms of the training ground methods Farrell employs, Ross says he has a "very clear picture of how he wants things to be done".

"How is he going to go as a head coach, I don't know. But if it's anything like he went as a defensive coach, it will be very good for us," he said.

"He likes us to watch the ball and not the man. Because his philosophy is if you're watching the ball and the ball's lifted, you're off the line at the same time. A good phrase of his is 'attacks are always trying to tell you lies anyway, so watch the ball, get good spacings, get off the line and kill your opposite man.'"

From an outside backs perspective, Bowe spoke of the attack vs defence sessions in training with Schmidt and Farrell taking the respective units: "It was honestly a battle, every Tuesday and Thursday session. And you could see they almost take great pride in it, depending on whether it's going to be a defence session or an attack, so they've always been trying to get one-up on each other a little which is kind of a competitive sense and brings out the best in both sides too."

Ross also points out that Farrell "is big on your attitude in defence" and highlights the concept of "bounce" that means the defence is primed on the balls of their feet to get off the line quickly rather than remaining static.

"It's psychological because he wants the attack to look up and see the defence practically vibrating to get at them."


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