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No time for transition, says Farrell


Progression demanded: Andy Farrell ready for Six Nations
Progression demanded: Andy Farrell ready for Six Nations
David Kelly

By David Kelly

Incoming Ireland head coach Andy Farrell insists he is prepared to deal with any criticism that comes his way as he prepares to lead his team into the Six Nations championship in just five weeks' time.

When Ireland tackle Scotland, it will represent the first time that Farrell has been in sole charge of any team.

And, despite being at the forefront of some heavy criticism during his time as an assistant to Stuart Lancaster after England's dismal 2015 World Cup exit, when both men paid for failure with their jobs, the former Wigan rugby league legend is prepared for any brickbats that might come his way.

"I have had plenty of kickings, honestly," said Farrell, whose role as defence coach with Ireland has also not seen him immune from occasional carping.

"I have been involved in professional sport long enough to know what a kicking is and what really matters.

"And I am big enough and ugly enough to be able to take that as well. I know what's relevant and what's not in terms of us getting better as a team, and that's what matters really."

And while there may be some degree of leeway afforded the new man during his first season in charge, he stresses he will not rely on transition as a comfort blanket.

"I use the term transition all the time," says Farrell, who reveals his own personal demands will obviate against any temptation to ease himself into the job.

"Yeah, 100 per cent. I suppose that is the key, I'll be demanding of myself. Performance matters to coaches more than transition and hopefully we can find a way of getting those performances straight from the start.

"Progression, that will be the key. Winning would be another one. But I suppose there's many aspects of our game that we need to push forward with.

"The bigger picture stuff is we want to improve in all aspects of the game."

Belfast Telegraph


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