joe schmidt watch irish irfu independent
Stream Keywords: joe schmidt,ireland irfu,independent irfu,irfu watch,irfu irish,ireland irish,independent ireland,ireland watch,independent irish,independent watch,irish watch
December 17 2017 10:27 AM
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has voiced his frustration over media speculation surrounding out-of-contract Irish players.
There were huge sighs of relief on Friday when the IRFU announced that Peter O'Mahony and Tadhg Furlong had signed three-year deals to keep them in Ireland until the summer of 2021.
Speculation had linked O'Mahony with a move to Gloucester if a deal failed to materialise.
CJ Stander and Iain Henderson have yet to agree deal and both have been linked to a number of English and French clubs in recent weeks.
Speaking at the RTE Sport Awards last night, Schmidt said the media reports did not accurately reflect the reality of the contract negotiations.
"It's a frustrating time for us because we know how positive the conversations are most of the time and you get things thrown up in print sometimes that you know are inaccurate," he said.
"Those sort of things, while they are frustrating at the time, as long as it works out okay in the end (it's okay).
"We were confident but we were never sure because you know there are opportunities abroad and they may offer more opportunity financially and also Peter is an intelligent man and he's going to look to broaden his horizons at some stage and Jess his wife is very intelligent too. They are fantastic people and we want to keep them in the country.
"I just know what it means to him to play for Munster and to play for Ireland and we're delighted that he's going to continue to do that."
Joe Schmidt on O'Mahony deal, Sexton HIA and a good week for the Irish provinces #rtesportawards #rterugby pic.twitter.com/OwPqiLcGxg
Schmidt also delivered some positive news on Johnny Sexton after the Leinster flyhalf was forced off in the opening minutes of his side's 22-17 win over Exeter at the Aviva yesterday with a head injury.
Schmidt revealed that although Sexton didn't return to the game, he passed his Head Injury Assessment (HIA).
"He passed his HIA, he's okay. I spoke to him this evening. He's fine," he added.
"He's likely to be back playing... it's a period where the games get very congested over the festive season.
"Johnny, Conor, there is a host of players you want to see get through the other side that tend to lead the group."