Reddan: We need positive frame of mind
THE power of positive thinking is part of Eoin Reddan's mental make-up.
It has had to be given how he fled from Munster in 2005, where Peter Stringer was an immovable object, to London Wasps, back to a shared role with Isaac Boss at Leinster from 2010 and into the back seat with Boss behind Conor Murray at Ireland.
"Athletes tend to be incredibly self-reliant. The positivity comes in them," he said.
"Like, if I step on the scales and I'm a kilo lighter, I'm thinking, 'Jesus, I'm going to be fast today', a kilo heavier, I'm thinking 'I'll be ready if someone runs into me'.
"When I was in Wasps and playing every week, I used to come to Ireland thinking 'I've got an edge here, none of these lads have much rugby'.
"Then, when I am in Leinster, playing every second week playing with (Isaac) Bossy, I'm coming in thinking 'I'm fresher'."
The clean slate at Ireland is one that Reddan needed and it is one that could go his way given how coach Joe Schmidt requires speedy service from his scrum-half.
When Munster's Murray arrived on the professional scene, he was touted as a passer first, runner second. This has been balanced out with the passage of time.
Schmidt is a very different coach to Warren Gatland, one who seeks out space and innovation rather than contact and low risk percentages.
England coach Stuart Lancaster has already shown British and Irish Lions scrum-half Ben Youngs he can assume nothing, starting Lee Dickson against Australia.
It is this sense of new possibilities that keeps players on their toes, and keeps Reddan working towards the number nine jersey.
The positivity of Reddan is there too in the outlook of Ireland's fly-half Jonathan Sexton, a man loaded with 13 matches in 12 weeks up to last weekend.
"That's the way it goes. I think Jonny is very much like that (positive). Well, I know he is. I know he certainly feels very, very sharp, match-wise.
"If you have that mindset where you look at it, you take the positives from it and you apply it, then it's fine.
"The worst case scenario is when someone shows up and they're feeling they have played too many games. That's when the problems start to happen.
"I certainly don't think we're at that stage yet and, probably with Jonny, I don't ever see that happening."
Reddan was sure to warn against complacency when it comes to Samoa.
The Islanders have benefited from large investment from the International Rugby Board.
They are no longer a rabble of freakishly talented specimens without proper preparation.
"Expectations can be very high. There is a bit of a gap between what's expected and what's reality," said Reddan.
"Samoa are ranked seven in the world and have had massive victories last year against Italy, Scotland and Wales. We know what we're up against this week.
"It is the kind of game where, within the squad you know what you're up against. Outside the squad, people normally don't know what you're up against.
"I think Samoa scored after a minute and 52 seconds last year against Wales. There was no doubt about what they had come to do.
"From the kick-off, they turned the ball over and just had all out attack for two minutes and scored in the corner. That is what we're going to be up against this week.
"They're going to come out very strong, fast and we'll have to do the same."