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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Eoin Reddan: We can beat anyone on our day

Irish in a better place than in '07 and '11 for World Cup

Eoin Reddan
Eoin Reddan

Ireland scrum-half Eoin Reddan will go into his third Rugby World Cup knowing "we could achieve something great".

The main reason is that coach Joe Schmidt has boiled the game right down to the basics for every player with a very Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots mantra "do your job".

"It's quite a nice thing as a player to know that, if you do your own bit, the guy next to you is going to do his bit," said Reddan, ahead of Ireland's task against The Barbarians at Thomond Park on Thursday.

"Going into such a big tournament with so much on the line, I don't have to be worrying about what everyone else is doing.

"I know what we'll deliver because everyone knows what's required of them."

Reddan has the experience from being there in 2007 and 2011 when expectations were extinguished before the semi-final target was met.

"In 2007, certainly, from what I knew of the game then, it was much harder to put your finger on why you were winning.

"Is it the other team? Is it you? Are you delivering something special? In 2011, we were very much up and down going into it.

"We had a great game against England here in The Aviva to stop them winning the Grand Slam about seven months before, which gave us a great belief. But, we still weren't sure."

The Irish love of gallant losers didn't sit easily either.

beaten

"I remember getting clapped coming home and I was thinking 'Jesus, we've just lost to Wales in a quarter-final'.

"If this was Wales in a Six Nations week, there would be no one here, everyone would be on our back'.

"But because we had beaten Australia three weeks ago people were still saying how great it was. That's all part of it."

Meanwhile, Leinster lead the way with 15 members in Nigel Carolan's 28-strong Ireland U20 squad, captained by scrum-half Nick McCarthy, for the World Cup in Italy from June 2-22.

The Irish will be pitched straight in against the physicality of Argentina (June 2) on day one, the plan for revenge over Scotland (June 6) from the Six Nations on day two, and New Zealand (June 10) in the third match of a testing Pool.

IRELAND SQUAD (v Barbarians): Forwards (14) - M Bent, R Diack, T Furlong, J Heaslip, C Henry, R Herring, J McGrath, B Marshall, J Murphy, M Ross, R Ruddock, R Strauss, D Toner, D Tuohy; Backs (12): C Gilroy, P Jackson, D Kearney, R Kearney, C Kelleher, S McCloskey, L McGrath, I Madigan, L Marshall, C O'Shea, E Reddan, N Reid.

IRELAND U20 WORLD CUP SQUAD: S Arnold (Ulster), R Byrne, J Carbery, F Cleary, B Dardis (all Leinster), L Dow (Ulster), J Dwan (Leinster), S Fitzgerald (Munster), C Gaffney (Connacht), O Heffernan, J Loughman (both Leinster), Z McCall (Ulster), N McCarthy (Leinster, Capt), S McNulty (Munster), S McVeigh, R Moloney (both Connacht), J Murphy (Leinster), C O'Donnell (Connacht), D O'Connor, C Oliver (both Leinster), J Owens (Ulster), A Porter, G Ringrose, C Rock (all Leinster), C Romaine (Connacht), J Stockdale, A Thompson (both Ulster), N Timoney (Leinster).

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