English rugby legend completely dismisses Ireland's World Cup chances
"I feel really bad when I talk about Ireland because I never give them the credit they probably deserve."
Well, if Mike Tindall felt like that, his debut appearance on JOE UK's House of Rugby was the perfect opportunity to right that wrong.
No. Instead, Tindall took another cut or three at Joe Schmidt's men and questioned the merits of their Six Nations Grand Slam success.
During a preview of the November internationals, with host Alex Payne and England back-row James Haskell, Tindall expressed his doubts about Ireland as serious contenders at next year's World Cup.
"They're not over-inflated because they win those games, but my issue with Ireland is that I'm not sure if they will ever do well at a World Cup with the rugby they play, currently.
"If you go back to the Six Nations, they could have lost three of their games. I know they DIDN'T but Scotland should have, in my book, beaten them with the three tries they absolutely butchered on two-on-ones.
"Johnny Sexton [drop goal] in France, and if that pass goes a different way when Stockdale makes a read and it goes over the top [of him]. We've talked about Stockdale making a read and defenders doing what they are doing.
"I thought the way that teams got around them... I actually thought Australia would go really well against them because of how they defend and how easily the Six Nations team got around them, on the outside.
"And I know they make the most passes out of every team, probably, in world rugby but they are all one-out runners and how many times do the forwards score compared to the backs? Like Stockdale, how many of their backs' scores intercepts?"
Tindall, who won a World Cup with England in 2003, conceded that he was 'doing Ireland down' before saying they were "outstanding" with their rigid game-plan. "The way they break down teams in terms of where they are going to attack... and stick to their game-plan on match-day gets them those results," he continued.
"I always believe a team are going to beat them, which is weird because they don't!
"They are just great at getting results. Now, do they always play out of their skin? No, but they get the job done."
Great at getting results even when they are not playing well. Sounds like a decent side to put together a cup run to us.
Check out Tindall on Ireland from 47:00 below:
Ireland have never gone beyond the last eight of the World Cup but they look well set for a decent go of it in 2019.