Joe Schmidt reveals Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander conversation just before Ireland's victory 5 years ago

Joe Schmidt reveals Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander conversation just before Ireland's victory

Conor Murray out. Rob Kearney out. Then, right before kick off, Jamie Heaslip out.

For a Six Nations that was relatively light on serious Irish injuries, all of the drama unfolded in a frenetic final three days of the championship.


Ireland went into battle - and it was every inch a battle - against England with three experienced and top quality players. Three Lions. And they got the job done.

Losing Heaslip in the warm-up before the 13-9 Ireland win led to some late re-jigs from Joe Schmidt and his coaching staff. In the end, it worked out as a blessing in disguise.

Peter O'Mahony, the emergency blindside, was man-of-the-match, CJ Stander purred in the green No.8 jersey for the first time and Dan Leavy didn't shirk the challenge when he came off the bench in the final quarter.

Following a hard-fought victory, Schmidt revealed the short, sharp conversation he had with O'Mahony and Stander. He commented:


"Dan Leavy got heck of a shock. I said, 'You need to grab that jersey off Pete. Pete, you grab number six off CJ and CJ, you grab eight off Jamie because Jamie pulled his upper hamstring unable to play'.

"I don't know if you all saw the warm-up but it happened very late when Jamie suddenly stepped aside. They had a look and tested him inside. I’d say the decision was made five minutes before kick-off."

Late, late call but it didn't work out too shabby...


We caught up with Stander after the game, and his version tallied with Schmidt's... even if the Munster man could not recall that it was his coach that broke it too him. Stander said:

"I was sitting down, just getting my head together, and was suiting up for the parade when someone threw the eight jersey at me and said, 'You're eight now and you have to do it.'

"It was quick but fair play to Pete, he stepped straight into the six position, which he has done in training quite a bit. Everyone in their certain positions knew what to do."

The best laid plans of mice, men and international rugby coaches gang aft agle [go wrong] but Ireland had three men ready to answer the call.