Andy Farrell Joe Schmidt Scotland Ireland New Zealand Rugby Andy Farrell Joe Schmidt Scotland Ireland New Zealand

Why Ireland boss Andy Farrell is such a special coach

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Andy Farrell has guided Ireland to a Six Nations grand slam to cement his side’s position at the top of the world rankings following last year’s historic series success in New Zealand.The 47-year-old stepped into the head coach role following the 2019 World Cup, having previously served as defence coach under predecessor Joe Schmidt.Here is a closer look at the Englishman and a consideration of some of his greatest strengths.Farrell, who has been part of the Irish setup since 2016, is still called ‘Faz’ by most of his squad and operates an open-door policy with players.

He has been praised for his emotional intelligence, while striking the right balance between humour and hard work without comprising his authority.

On the subject of being approachable, the former dual-code international said: “What’s the point in players not being able to speak their mind to you?

You end up just going backwards and going nowhere. I’d be gutted if they couldn’t.” He repeatedly urges individuals to ‘be themselves’ and cares just as much about players’ personal happiness as he does about professional development.Farrell openly embraces adversity.

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