Schmidt: Physicality is determined by will rather than size

Schmidt: Physicality is determined by will rather than size

By Grainne McGuinnessand Shaun Cronin

South Africa may be bringing an incredibly physical attacking side to the Aviva on Saturday, but Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is adamant his side are ready to match them.

Much has been made of the attacking power of Handré Pollard and Jan Serfontein - Schmidt for his part was asked if this element of the Springboks game was behind his choice of Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne in the centre.

“It probably wasn’t the motivation behind it, but it’s nice to have,” said Schmidt.

“Serfontein is a younger guy who’s come on the scene and he’s big, he’s very physical so that is going to be a challenge,” he added.

Schmidt was keen to point out that physicality is not purely about size, citing 5‘10” Brian O’Driscoll as the obvious example.

Schmidt: Physicality is determined by will rather than size

He said: “I would say that Ireland have been blessed with two incredible good centres for a long time who weren't that big, but they were very physical.”

“I think physicality sometimes is determined by the will of the person rather than the size,” insisted Schmidt.

“Hopefully on Saturday we’ll get a bit of both from our centre pairing.”

*Breakingnews.ie reporter Shaun Cronin spoke to Irish Examiner rugby correspondent Simon Lewis about the upcoming match.

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