Joe Schmidt provides history lesson for Shane Horgan after Tommy Bowe criticism 5 years ago

Joe Schmidt provides history lesson for Shane Horgan after Tommy Bowe criticism

Joe Schmidt is not overly keen on former Ireland players voicing their opinions on current goings on in his squad.

Following Ireland's opening day Six Nations loss to Scotland, Tommy Bowe came in for some criticism from former international teammate Shane Horgan.

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Bowe had come off the bench to have the wrong sort of impact - giving away a penalty for a high tackle and luckily avoiding a yellow card. Horgan, in his role as an RTE pundit, said Bowe had not being playing well and his selection 'looked like a nostalgia call'.

The 33-year-old missed out on Ireland squads for the wins over Italy and France but is back on the bench after he, in Schmidt's words, trained the house down.

He may have impressed at Carton House but not everyone is convinced Bowe is the dashing winger of old.

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Schmidt was asked about Horgan's comments and the sense of selecting Bowe over the likes of recent hat-trick hero Craig Gilroy and Andrew Conway.

His response bristled with intent and had a reminder for Horgan about times when he had stayed true to him, during his days at Leinster.

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"Look," Schmidt began, "I think Shane hasn't spent any time in our environment, so he's never seen Tommy train, so it's a typically external opinion that is purely opinion based.

"We try to base our decision on how a player is performing, I've coached Shane and there's probably been times when people have questioned my selecting him in the past.

"There's always going to be people questioning selection. I feel that we're best placed, there's no way I'd say we get it right every time, because again, there's a human factor in coaching, just as there is in playing, as I referred to earlier with George North.

"I think North is a super player, and if somebody has a slightly off day, there's no guarantee that off days continues, in fact it's potentially going to be the reverse, they're going to revert to type and be outstanding in their next performance.

"I'm not sure whether, over the last three and a half, four years, how many nostalgic decisions I've made. But I can't really remember many."

The latter half of Schmidt's statement would ring true, for the most part.

The Kiwi generally selects the team he feels is best suited to get the job done and big players such as Bowe, Peter O'Mahony, Iain Henderson and Jamie Heaslip all have experience of missing out on important games.

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