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Six Nations: Ireland boss Joe Schmidt unaffected by Vern Cotter

By Nick Purewal

Ireland boss Joe Schmidt believes his first Test clash with friend, mentor and former colleague Vern Cotter will not "colour" tomorrow's RBS Six Nations finale in Scotland.

Schmidt admitted in the build-up to last weekend's trip to Wales that he could attempt to "second-guess" former New Zealand and Clermont coaching partner Cotter in Ireland's Six Nations closer against Scotland.

The former Leinster coach conceded he may exploit his history with Cotter in a bid to explain why he would not try to over-analyse Wales boss Warren Gatland - another fellow Kiwi, but one he does not know half as well.

Ireland surrendered their Grand Slam hopes with a 23-16 defeat to Wales in Cardiff, but could yet retain their Six Nations title with a win at Murrayfield.

After last week hinting he could play on his inside knowledge of Scotland's head coach Cotter, Schmidt now claims he will do no such thing.

"It doesn't really colour it at all," said Schmidt of how his relationship with Cotter could affect the game. "I think the two colours are definitely green and blue, and they will clash.

"I owe a fair bit to VC, I learned a lot from coaching with him, and I know that he knows me very well. And I've no doubt he's got a few things cooked up that will make life difficult for us and he's got players who are very capable of doing that."

Ireland, England and Wales can all still claim Six Nations glory, and Schmidt insisted he has no gripes about the Six Nations' staggered scheduling.

"I just think it's going to be a heck of a Saturday, there's going to be interest in three games and that's fantastic," said Schmidt.

"For some, you couldn't have written a better script and we've got to make sure that we write a positive end note for ourselves."

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