Still room for improvement despite Grand Slam, says Ireland's coach Schmidt

Irish players celebrate on the Twickenham pitch

Irish players celebrate on the Twickenham pitch

This follows their historic win in Twickenham yesterday where not only did the Irish Rugby team defeat England, they also achieved a clean sweep of titles in the Six Nations and achieved their third Grand Slam win. Unless you fix them, they catch up with you when you get to the big tournaments such as the World Cup. They had won the 2014 and 2015 Six Nations immediately before that World Cup, a very similar situation to the one that the Irish side find themselves in now.

The upcoming summer tours will have a huge impact on the rankings and England will be desperate to secure a series victory over South Africa in June where they take on a most-likely rejuvenated Springboks now led by Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber.

"When you take over it is reasonably easy, like I did with England, it is quite easy to improve them quickly because you get to fix certain things that need fixing quickly", he added.

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"It is all about fine margins and we looked dead and buried", said Best. I know that is hard to see, he said. In terms of results we have, but in terms of where we want to go as a team, we are moving forward.

We have spoken about leadership density - having more leaders on the field - and that is something that is a slow burner, you have got to build that, you have got to keep working on it. They are a quality side.

Best, who is Ireland's third most capped player with 111 and only legends Brian O'Driscoll and Ronan O'Gara ahead of him, said to do it with such a great bunch made it that bit more special.

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The 52-year-old was in reflective form when he appeared down one of the corridors of the London venue soon after his players had left the pitch, with his thoughts even turning to home when asked where this Grand Slam ranks alongside his other coaching achievements. "Australia will be hugely motivated to bounce back from what's been a relatively tough time for them and get a really good start in preparation for their Rugby Championship".

From momentarily drifting back to New Zealand, Schmidt wandered into praising his players again, stressing that a coach "can't create courage" in their team.

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