WATCH: Joe Schmidt hopes elderly Irish team can show ‘a little energy and enthusiasm’

By Grainne McGuinness and Shaun Cronin

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was bemused today when informed that the starting XV he had chosen for Sunday’s game against Romania was the oldest in World Cup history.

“Well Eoin Reddan has probably contributed to that!” he laughed, with 34-year-old Reddan sitting beside him at the team announcement.

“Is it really?” he double-checked with the reporter.

To clarify, it is the oldest team Ireland have ever fielded, not the oldest in the history of the competition overall, as the tweet seemed to suggest.

That didn’t stop Schmidt or Twitter joking about the statistic.

“Hopefully the team won’t show its age, and can show a little energy and enthusiasm,” Schmidt said. “Because I think we’ll need to.”

Schmidt has made 12 changes to the starting XV for Sunday’s game and was honest when asked if balancing a squad was tricky when making wholesale changes.

Video by Dan Linehan.

“Yeah, it is,” he answered. “It’s different every week, and we’re trying to keep some cohesion and continuity.

“We tried to get that early in the week. It’s probably taken a little bit of time through the week, but I felt we finished training today really well and hopefully that’s the front foot forward that leads us into Sunday.”

Shaun Cronin, head sports reporter of breakingnews.ie speaking to the Irish Examiner's rugby correspondent Simon Lewis on Ireland's RWC match against Romania this weekend. Video by Dan Linehan.

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