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Heaslip Talks About ‘The Standard The Green Jersey Demands’

Heaslip Talks About ‘The Standard The Green Jersey Demands’

Having lifted the Heineken Cup twice at provincial level under Joe Schmidt, Jaime Heaslip is hoping for more of the same as the New Zealand native takes the Ireland coaching reins.

“For me, it’s kind of much the same. I have had Joe (Schmidt) for three years previous to this. So I know him pretty well, but he’s going ahead as business as normal from what I can see,” explained Jamie Heaslip, speaking at the Ireland squad’s Carton House base for their two-day training camp.

“How he goes about his work, focusing on the detail and information, making sure everyone knows what they are doing…I think everyone has responded really well to that.

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“I’m pretty sure the lads would say they have had a good time here, the last couple of days.”

With injuries and the Lions tour having given many players the opportunity to line out for Ireland last season, Heaslip believes that those experiences will stand to Ireland as they prepare to face three sides in November’s GUINNESS Series that are ranked above them in the world rankings.

“We know when that time comes it’s going to be a hard challenge, those three weeks on the trot (in November),” added the Leinster back rower.

“A lot of guys got their first cap, got experience at that level (last year). I think that will stand to us. We’ve talked a lot about playing to the standard the green jersey demands and training to that standard as well.

“The more guys who get a taste of what it’s like to play in the green jersey during the summer and during the Six Nations, the more you see what is expected. That drives the quality of training which has a great knock-on effect on the team.”

While acknowledging the level of expectation is high among Ireland supporters, Heaslip was keen to play down any expectation within a squad which finished a disappointing fifth in last season’s Six Nations.

“We are all professionals. We have all had success or failure with our province and the national team. You just get on with it. You deal with it. You look at it, you assess it. You learn from it. You see what you can do in the future and go forward.

“We can’t control the expectations of people but we can only focus on the little actions which we control in the game – what you do, your role in a set play, in a lineout, in a scrum and the stuff we map out.

“Controlling them is what we do, but we can’t really control the expectation outside of the camp, but we have standards we are trying to constantly meet in every action we do.”