Joe Schmidt has given debuts to 27 different Irish players in exactly three years 2 years ago

Joe Schmidt has given debuts to 27 different Irish players in exactly three years

Joe Schmidt is building a future with Ireland.

November 9, 2013 is where it all started for the New Zealander, three years ago this week - quite fitting really after the events that transpired.

The World Cup might've ended prematurely after two history-making debut years but, this autumn, Schmidt has offered a timely reminder to the world why he is one of the greatest and, yes, why his Ireland team has to be taken seriously.

He has developed a style that, for a few months when times were tough, we were cursing and pining for Pat Lam's adventure.

But he has developed a reputation that means no-one but nobody would write Ireland off completely on any given day.

And, most importantly, he has developed a team. His team.

Schmidt has spent three years trawling through the best of what Ireland has to offer and he has spent that time perfecting the chosen ones too.

Ever since he took charge against Samoa three years ago and threw Dave Kearney and Jack McGrath in for their debuts - the latter of whom would go on to produce a man of the match performance - a total of 27 new faces have been tried out for the national team.

He has left no stone unturned.

List of Joe Schmidt debutants

Jack McGrath (Samoa, November 2013)
Dave Kearney (Samoa, November 2013)

Martin Moore (Scotland, February 2014)

Jordi Murphy (England, February 2014)

Rodney Ah You (Argentina, June 2014)
James Cronin (Argentina, June 2014)
Robbie Diack (Argentina, June 2014)
Kieran Marmion (Argentina, June 2014)
Noel Reid (Argentina, June 2014)
Rob Herring (Argentina, June 2014)

Jared Payne (South Africa, November 2014)

Dave Foley (Georgia, November 2014)
Dominic Ryan (Georgia, November 2014)
Robin Copeland (Georgia, November 2014)

Jack Conan (Scotland, August 2015)
Nathan White (Scotland, August 2015)

Tadhg Furlong (Wales, August 2015)

CJ Stander (Wales, February 2016)

Stuart McCloskey (England, February 2016)
Josh van der Flier (England, February 2016)
Ultan Dillane (England, February 2016)

Finlay Bealham (Italy, March 2016)

Quinn Roux (South Africa, June 2016)
Sean Reidy (South Africa, June 2016)
Matt Healy (South Africa, June 2016)
Tiernan O'Halloran (South Africa, June 2016)

Joey Carbery (New Zealand, November 2016)

Joe Schmidt has signed a new contract that takes him to the 2019 World Cup. He's already gone through three years of hard work for Ireland. Three more years of the same and God knows where the country could be.

These are exciting times.

Who are the winners of the much-coveted 2016 Wooly Awards? Find out in our GAA Hour Special