Ireland secured the Six Nations title with a home win over Scotland coupled with England's defeat by France
Dublin (AFP) - Joe Schmidt’s capacity for “motivational fear” is what makes him the “best coach in world rugby”, according to Ireland hooker Sean Cronin.
Last week saw Ireland win their third Six Nations title in five years under New Zealand coach Schmidt and he will lead them to just their third Grand Slam in history if they beat England at Twickenham on Saturday.
Cronin also played under Schmidt at Irish province Leinster and the front-row forward, the back-up hooker to Ireland captain Rory Best, said: “He’s the best coach in the world, his results speak for themselves; three championships in five years is incredible. He’s top quality, and he has a great support staff behind him too.
“I’ve been involved with Joe for a long time, both at Leinster and Ireland, and when you do make a mistake during a game you’re already thinking about the review on Monday. Not many coaches can put that motivational fear into you.”
Meanwhile fullback Rob Kearney is set to be fit as Ireland chase just a third Grand Slam to set alongside their 1948 and 2009 Championship clean sweeps.
Following last week’s 28-8 win over Scotland, Kearney missed training on Tuesday and was seen icing his foot but Ireland assistant coach Richie Murphy insisted: “Rob’s fine, it’s just a case of managing his load.
“He picked up a couple of bangs in the Scotland victory, so we’re just easing him back into the week. He just got caught on his ankle, but he’s fine.”