Tommy Bowe scored 30 tries in 69 appearances for Ireland so how excited is he by the back three that starts on Saturday, what does he expect to see from Mike Catt’s attack as the Guinness Six Nations progresses and how does he feel about that Croke Park loss to the Scots ten years ago?
It is definitely a potent back three with the likes of Jordan Larmour in there. If he is given a bit of time and space he can be so exciting.
Jacob Stockdale as well is still only 22 and that’s what I love about it. They’re two young lads and that is great potential within this Ireland team.
It’s really exciting and the form player is probably Andrew Conway. I’m delighted he has been given a chance because he has always appeared to be just behind Keith Earls and Jacob.
He might not light the game up like the other two guys but he works so hard and when given the chance he knows where to find the try line.
It’s really interesting you say that because I was just listening to an interview with Tony Browne who was the man they reckon to be the mastermind behind the Japanese team’s attack last year.
Everybody was blown away with the rugby Japan played and he spoke about the difficulties the Six Nations teams have.
When he was with Japan they were together for about 200 days to set down clear guidelines on the type of rugby they wanted to play and they were able to practise it and practise it.
In the Six Nations it is so much more setpiece dominated, the lineout, the scrum and the breakdown area, because they are such a big part of Six Nations rugby and they are easier to learn and easier to work on.
The attack takes a lot longer so Andy Farrell and Mike Catt might have great visions of what they want to do but they don’t really have the time to implement it.
If you don’t have a dedicated period of practice it is hard to bring in something different. The beauty of it is that Leinster are playing a beautiful brand of attacking rugby, it’s not all setpiece dominated, and they have the core of the Ireland squad at the minute.
Ulster are the same so I don’t think it will take a huge change from what the provinces are doing and the work that Joe Schmidt has done over the years means that the foundations are in there.
I remember when Declan came in he brought Alan Gaffney with him and he was the attack coach. I’ll never forget the amount of drills we were put through in practice.
Two v one drills, three v two drills, four v two, four v three. Just really putting our skills under massive pressure but the difference it made...
It was the November series and by the end of four weeks together I just felt like a different player.
Unfortunately they don’t have a summer series or a November series now to bed themselves in. The pressure is on in a Six Nations and it could be the summer before we really start to see something different.
That was the day Dan Parks kicked the winning goal at the end, wasn’t it? That cost us a Triple Crown.
We seemed to be ahead the whole game and we thought it was going to be comfortable but Scotland found a way back into the game and that Dan Parks kick at the end was heartbreaking, particularly because we had beaten England and Wales and the Triple Crown looked like it was on and the fact that we had won the Six Nations the game before.
I remember Jamie Heaslip had organised for Mumford & Sons (rock band) to come into the team hotel the night before the match and we all thought that this was the best thing ever.
Looking back on it maybe it wasn’t the best idea.