Latest News

Ireland will need armoury, not a bullet - Brewer

Ireland won't need one bullet in their pocket when they play the All Blacks in Chicago next month, they'll need a whole armoury.

That's how former All Black loose forward Mike Brewer sees the task in front of them.

Brewer told, as part of their series looking at New Zealand rugby, that every player in Ireland's side had to be on song.


"That's where the All Blacks are at the moment and that's where Ireland have got to be.

"It's about whether you've got the skill set to take advantage of those opportunities. Until a team has got that skill set you won't beat them," he said.

"The mindset of this current team and management is 'What other things can we work on to keep improving?' They're not happy to play at the level they were at at the 2015 World Cup. They've gone onto another level," he said.

Brewer said the 2007 World Cup quarter-final loss to France had been a key time in All Blacks' development. Since then there had been an element of the All Blacks understanding how the mind and body worked together while relating that to developing the core skills relate to each position.

No longer were coaches dictators, they were more facilitators in the improvement of skills.

Brewer, who had coaching experience in Ireland after his playing career ended in the mid-1990s, said he had been guilty of what he termed the 'old hairspray approach' of ranting and raving and talking about the result.

"The understanding now is that if something is not working, if the skill is not working in the scrum, lineout or breakdown, then as a coach and a player if you can look at why that skill is breaking down, then you can make quick adjustments to achieving a change in the process.

"It's a far more positive approach to growing as an individual, growing as a unit, then growing as a team," he said.

And as regarded Chicago he said Ireland must hope they are physically fitter now.

"To beat this All Black team you have to attack them for 80 minutes. It doesn't matter if you've got the ball or haven't got the ball – you've got to attack them for 80 minutes.

"Ireland did that for 72 or 74 minutes in 2013, then they ran out of petrol a little bit," he said.

Ireland would need to show they had improved as individual players, as well as collectively because it was the skills of the All Blacks that separated them from other sides at the moment.