Joe Schmidt sheds light on Ringrose, O'Halloran and O'Donoghue's roles against Canada

The trio get to gain some experience at test level

BY Raf Diallo 15:46 Thursday 10 November 2016, 15:46 10 Nov 2016

Garry Ringrose ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is confident he has surrounded Garry Ringrose and Tiernan O'Halloran with enough experience as they face Canada on Saturday.

Leinster's Ringrose is at 13 and Connacht's O'Halloran at 15 for the test international in a much-changed side from the one that defeated the All Blacks in Chicago last Saturday.

Ringrose (21) is uncapped at senior test level, while O'Halloran (25) only has two caps to his name. 

Speaking as he named the starting team to face Canada, Schmidt has made sure to put experienced names around those players.

"With Garry, there's a bit of experience either side of him so it's a nice entry to the test arena. Luke Marshall was outstanding at 12 in the first test in Cape Town earlier this year. I think Keith Earls has got all that experience, Craig Gilroy has played a few as well. So having those guys around for both Tiernan, who hasn't had too many caps, and for Garry will be good," he said.

"I think Garry's a very natural player. He sees things and he's already ahead of the game because he reads the game early. While being lean, he's strong. It allows him to avoid those full contacts and slip past players or slip half through a tackle and still get over the gain-line. And at the same time defensively, just being so astute as he is, we're hoping that allows him to control a little bit of what they're trying to do to us."    

It's a similar situation with Jack O'Donoghue (22) of Munster who anchors the back-row at 8 between two of the most experienced Irish flankers around. 

Jack O'Donoghue ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

"Jack has been in and out with us for some time, probably for the best part of a year. I've seen Jack since he captained the under-20s in the Junior World Cup in Auckland a couple of years ago and was impressed with him as a player and a potential leader. Jack has done really well. He's also versatile across the back-row. But we do think that giving him an opportunity at 8 is probably a good place for him to be," he said.

"He also gets to start with Sean O'Brien and Peter O'Mahony which is an ideal mix for him, to have some real experience either side of him. And [Munster's] Billy Holland, a lot of what Billy has delivered is quality work-rate. He's been accurate and he's been astute in the line-out without being a towering man himself."


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