Mallett: Ireland better under Kiwi coach

2014-11-04 14:34
Nick Mallett (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett says the Springboks face "two really hard games" to kick off their year-end European tour.

The Boks start their four-game tour with a clash against Ireland at Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday. It will be followed by Tests against England (London, November 15), Italy (Padova, November 22) and Wales (Cardiff, November 29).

Mallett, speaking to Ballz Radio's Darren Scott, says he's been very impressed with Ireland since New Zealander Joe Schmidt started coaching them last year.

Under Schmidt's tutelage, Ireland won the Six Nations this year and also came desperately close to beating the All Blacks in Dublin last year, before going down 24-22 courtesy of a last-gasp All Black try.

"The Springboks have tremendous respect for Ireland. They are the Six Nations champions and they ran New Zealand so close in that fantastic game at Lansdowne Road last year in November," said Mallett.

"In Joe Schmidt they've got a very, very good coach. He's a good New Zealand coach. He's come through Clermont-Ferrand (Clermont Auvergne), he was the assistant coach there when they won the French championship and then went over and coached Leinster and I think (he) won a European Cup with them, so he's a New Zealander who is really well loved by the players.

"And Ireland have upped their game a notch with him as coach, so I think that first game is going to be tricky. I think we're going to put our full Test team in."

Mallett also expects the England game at Twickenham the following week to be very tough for the Boks.

"England the next weekend is going to be a very similar challenge because they'll be that much better having played against New Zealand the week before. So those two are really hard games for us."

Should coach Heyneke Meyer opt to experiment a bit with his team, Mallett expects him to only do so in the last two games against Italy and Wales.

CLICK HERE to read the full interview with Nick Mallett on Ballz Radio

Read more on:    springboks  |  nick mallett  |  rugby

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