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08th Jun 2024

Former Munster star claims Andy Farrell can’t motivate Ireland because he’s English

Callum Boyle

Andy Farrell Ireland

‘I don’t know if he knows much about Ireland’

Former Munster star Damian de Allende has claimed that Andy Farrell struggles to motivate his Ireland team because he is English.

De Allende, a two-time World Cup winner with South Africa, was speaking ahead of Ireland’s summer Test series against the Springboks.

Speaking from his own experience of how the coaches at South Africa helped to spur on the side to success, De Allende feels that having coaches from your own country helps more so than having someone from foreign shores.

Farrell has been Ireland’s head coach since 2019 having served as an assistant since 2016 but was born in Wigan, England and played rugby league for Great Britain and union for England.

‘The Irish don’t strike me as people who are emotional’

Under his stewardship Ireland have won back-to-back Six Nations titles, including a Grand Slam, and a series victory in New Zealand in 2022 while Farrell was also named World Rugby coach of the year in 2023.

But De Allende believes he still has a hard time trying to motivate his squad.

“It’s hard to say, I think Andy Farrell is English so I don’t know if he knows much about Ireland and the history and what has happened in the past and things like that.

“Because Rassie [Erasmus] is South African and he loves South Africa so much, he’s played for the Springboks, and it means so much to him, he knows how to make us tick as South Africans and he knows how to make South Africa tick.”

Andy Farrell Ireland

He continued: “I don’t know if (Ireland) have an emotional drive.

“The Irish don’t strike me as people who are emotional. I think South Africans are very emotional.

“Because a lot of us have tough pasts. I’m not saying the Irish don’t have tough pasts but there’s a lot of us that came up from absolutely nothing and a lot of us appreciate that so much and appreciate what we have now.

“But there’ll always be that emotional drive that pushes us over the line or gets us going just because we always think back to what we didn’t have and what we have now.”

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