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'Flecks of arrogance' around Ireland team claims UK scribe

By Ian Cameron
Bundee Aki, left, and Conor Murray of Ireland celebrate after the 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between Ireland and Scotland at the Stade de France in Paris, France. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Outspoken Sunday Times columnist Stephen Jones has suggested that there is a growing arrogance around Andy Farrell’s Ireland team.

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The men in green currently sit atop the Guinness Six Nations table and could clinch the championship next weekend if they beat England in Twickenham. Ireland are now unbackable favourites to win this year’s competition, with many expecting a Grand Slam to follow in the final round against Scotland.

While Jones concedes Ireland are ‘best team in the world’, he also believes there’s a growing arrogance around the team who were the only side to beat South Africa in last year’s Rugby World Cup.

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“There will be no discussion about Ireland’s attitude,” wrote Jones. “They will be merciless; they are a merciless team. All the rest of their game is subordinate to attacking the opposition up front, in the tackle and just behind the forward phases.

“For me and many others, they remain at their best — and they are the best team in the world…

“England cannot afford to subside lamely, or to give us a “we’ll-be-better-next-time” promise. The implications of a hammering would be horrendous. They should close their ears to the crowing Irish and to the flecks of arrogance now emerging around the team.”

Jones has never been shy of the odd dig at Irish teams down through the years and still managed a few well-aimed digs. Jones stated that Steve Borthwick needs to start Manu Tuilagi to stop ‘Kiwi-born centre ‘ Bundee Aki, while also serving James Lowe a back-handed compliment, writing: “England also have to look after the extraordinary James Lowe, the ex-donkey turned world-class wing with so much all-round talent that he could be a circus act.”

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20 Comments
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Simon 101 days ago

At last somebody in the press has picked up on Irish arrogance. They whoop and gloat on the field, they strut about off the field and let’s face it, Sexton for his remarks towards officials should have been banned fort he World Cup. Farrell himself, with his rugby league Northerner attitude is full of arrogance and with the influx of NZ players filling a third of the Irish team, it was inevitable that attitudes would change. This arrogance manifests to blatant cheating such as Porter scrummaging illegally. The entire team at some point entering rucks from the side to clear out and then standing in an offside position ready to enter the next ruck from yet another side entry. They block would be tacklers and often run blockers for defensive kicks. World referees are conned by them and so because they are allowed to do as they please, the arrogance keeps breeding. We may have to put up with it until the QFs of RWC2027 when they will get knocked out again!!

E
Ed the Duck 101 days ago

Only natural for a team winning as consistently as Ireland do (apart from wc ko’s of course…) to flirt with the fine line between confidence and arrogance.

What I would like to see is some decent analysis (are you listening nickB…) on their card rate v’s the other elite test nations. Particularly if it were backed up by clips from all teams in recent games where cards reasonably should have been given but weren’t. Would be a VERY interesting exercise!

S
Sumkunn Tsadmiova 101 days ago

Arrogant? With all those Kiwis in the side. Surely not……😙

F
Flankly 101 days ago

ar·ro·gate
verb
take or claim (something) without justification.

Hmm. There is a team that comes to mind, but it’s not Ireland.

M
MattJH 101 days ago

Cheers to Ireland for taking the Stephen Jones classic ‘arrogance’ tag. He usually levels that along with all his other bitterness at the All Blacks.

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Turlough 102 days ago

Jones has made so many anti-Irish comments that it’s to be expected every time he opens his mouth. The man also recently claimed England shouldn’t train for the Ireland match rather each player decide what to do with the ball ‘when they receive it’. This will work ‘because they are professional players’. Bigots do tend to be idiots.

This ‘arrogance’ accusation against Ireland is a cheap shot. Jones is building on dishonest comments by other idiots such as John Kirwan who decided Ireland were arrogant (coincidently just after we beat NZ in the series in NZ). The same John Kirwan was lamenting that NZ would not play France in the RWC final (before the NZ v Argentina semi final had even been played! Utterly arrogant and disrespectful to Argentina)
Lots of projection with these morons.

NB: While I’m at it Jones also states Ireland are the best team in the world. There is only evidence that Ireland is the best team in NH which puts them top 3 in the world.
Irish punters are not claiming Ireland are best, but I am with Joel Stransky the jury is out until Ireland have faced SA and indeed NZ. If we win those 3 matches we are top of the rankings and there may be a case then. Before that disrespectful to RWC champs and runners up.
Th banter is good for making the SA-IRL series huge though.

D
David 2 102 days ago

In the same article he called for the return Billy Vunipola. He’s always been a bit of a gobshite but he’s plumbing new depths recently.

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