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Rugby-Ireland Have Shed Inferiority Complex, Says Farrell – News18


Last Updated: October 12, 2023, 05:01 IST

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Andy Farrell concedes that Ireland have suffered from an inferiority complex in the past but believes his team are ready to embrace the challenge of being the best in the world.

PARIS: Andy Farrell concedes that Ireland have suffered from an inferiority complex in the past but believes his team are ready to embrace the challenge of being the best in the world.

On Saturday, the top-ranked Irish face a major challenge to those ambitions in the World Cup quarter-finals when they take on three-times world champions New Zealand, long the benchmark for test rugby teams.

Ireland came into the 2019 World Cup ranked number one in the world but were hammered 46-14 by the All Blacks in the quarter-finals to retain their unenviable record of never having won a knockout game at the global tournament.

“I suppose an inferiority complex is what’s happened in the past as far as getting to world number one and thinking that we’re going to fall off a cliff, because this shouldn’t be happening to Ireland,” the coach told reporters on Wednesday.

“But I think what we’ve learned to do is throw ourselves into big challenges and try to meet them head on, and embrace that. We don’t want to be second best, we want to be first best.”

Although Ireland could match the top tier record for winning streaks with an 18th straight victory on Saturday, Farrell conceded that Ireland’s miserable record in World Cup knockouts might come into his players’ heads at some stage.

“Of course, things start to creep in but we’ve tools and experience to be able to combat all that,” he said.

“I suppose the main part of it is to realise that we’re a bloody good team that play together. And when we do that, you’re not on your own so you can get away from those types of thoughts.”

Farrell has made it clear that Ireland have a huge amount of respect for New Zealand, who have spent 743 weeks on top of the world rankings with a target on their backs since the ratings system was introduced in 2003.

The former England dual code international said Ireland were learning to embrace even that element of being top dogs.

“We realise what comes with that, that people are always chasing you down hard,” he added.

“You’ve seen with the All Blacks over the last 20 years, that’s why they’re so respected because it’s very hard to stay at the top.

“That’s the place that we want to be, because if you’re serious about getting better, and being the team you want to be, that’s the world that you’re going to live in.”

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Reuters)



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