Ireland's new rugby coach, Joe Schmidt, has an impressive CV guiding Leinster to two Heineken Cup triumphs and this year's Amlin Challenge Cup final. From New Zealand, he obviously knows what it takes to be successful on the international stage and he comes to the job when fellow Kiwis are in charge of – or, in one case, about to take over – the other three Irish provincial sides.
Perhaps this collective wisdom from the southern hemisphere will mark a change of fortune for Ireland. Having recently watched Ulster defeat his Leinster team, Schmidt should have little doubt about the quality of player available north of the border and should be prepared to give that talent fair representation at international level. That did not always seem to be the case in recent years.