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Schmidt pushing players all the way even on training pitch

By Cian Tracey

Ireland's open training sessions are beginning to forge a reputation that can only benefit Irish rugby as a whole going forward.

On one hand, last Friday in Monaghan there were approximately 3,000 people getting a first-hand taste of how Ireland tick under Joe Schmidt and, on the other, there was an U-20s squad eager to make an impression ahead of Friday night's clash with France

Tempers frayed during last year's session in Athlone while on Friday there was, at times, a tension that will have been very much welcomed by Schmidt and Nigel Carolan.

"I heard there was a bit more (bite) last year, but the intensity was insane," U-20s winger Tommy O'Brien maintained.

"It was a bit of a step-up for everyone, and then with Joe Schmidt in the middle controlling it all, that was pretty cool. He demanded really high standards, so that was pretty cool.

"I was just trying to get involved as much as I could."

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