Inside Joe Schmidt’s Squad Selection

Joe Schmidt and his backroom staff sit down to select the squad to tour South Africa. People in the room include Head Coach Joe Schmidt, forwards’ coach Simon Easterby, scrum coach Greg Feek, kicking and skills coach Richie Murphy, S&C coach Jason Cowman, and video analyst Mervyn Murphy.

Joe: Thanks for coming, guys. Let’s get down to it.

Simon: I reckon we should start by looking at the Pro 12 Team of the Year. What you think, Joe?

Joe: No need. I’m just going to go with tried and trusted.

Greg: But a lot of these Connacht guys had great seasons?

Joe: Ah fine, throw in a few, but that’s it. No more. I put Robbie, Nathan, and Finlay in during the 6 Nations, are they not happy with that?

Greg: Finlay is going well. I like him. It’s a pity Buckley isn’t fit to trav-

Joe: Ross and McGrath. Next.

Richie: I have been working with Paddy a lot lately, I think he should be our first choice ten to tour. Perhaps bring him and Madigan, Johnny has had a long year.

Joe: Nope.

Richie: Eh?

Joe: Nope. Johnny does the loop. I like the like. Loop is good. Loop works.

Andy Farrell: Owen’s been going well for Sarries this year, Joe. I reckon he could go well against the Boks. He’s skilful, aggressive, his kicking stats are great too.

Joe: Andy, you’re not meant to be here. And Owen is travelling to Australia?

Andy Farrell: Owen will do what I tell him. Just keep it in mind.

Richie: Paddy has had the Ulster backline firing all seas-

Joe: Simon, you had your hand up?

Simon: Another guy I’d like to look at is John Muldoon. He’s had a good season, provincial captain, great around the park and very strong in the ruck area.

Jason: His gym numbers are great. They’re right up there.

Mervyn: I did quite a bit of video analysis on him this week, his work rate it phenomenal.

Joe: I’ve two words for you. Jamie. Heaslip.

Simon: Well… We could still bring him?

Joe: OK, I’ll tell you what. We’ll bring Sean Reidy.

Simon: But that’s not-

Joe: Simon, it’s quiet time now. OK, we’re pretty much done. The midfield sorts itself. We’re going to bring Olding and Marshall to pair with Robbie, and Jared can cover centre and 15 too. Let’s just move to the back three.

Andy Farrell: Owen can cover 12. I’m just putting it out there.

Joe: Andy, mate. Please. Stop it now.

Simon: I was hoping we could discuss Tommy O’Donnell?

Joe: Discuss away. He’s still not going. Now, back three options. Keith has been going well down in Munster, so he’s in. Luke’s in too. Andrew has been great this year, a real work horse, and is a big physical guy as well as skilful, so he’s in. He’ll serve us well.

Simon: I really think Tommy is worth bringing. He’s back to full fitness.

Joe: Simon, we’ve moved on. You should have brought this up earlier. Richie?

Richie: The Connacht back three are really worth a look. Great skill set, acceleration, they know where the try-line is.

Joe: Well, Rob Kearney did well a few years ago, and I like the name Dave. So they’re in.

Richie: Craig’s been going well in Ulster, and Matt Healy has had a tremendous season?

Joe: Rob and Dave. If there’s an injury somewhere, we can consider someone else.

Mervyn: The Connacht back three have 19 tries this season so far, Leinster’s have two?

Joe: OK. OK. OK. We’ll take Dave Kilcoyne. Right gents, I have to go. I’d like to thank you all for your help today. Have a good day.

Simon: But I really think we-

Joe: That’s great, thanks Simon.



This is meant purely as a tongue-in-cheek piece. I’ve nothing but respect for Joe Schmidt, and what he has accomplished in the game. It’s just a bit of fun.


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