Ireland are up against it in the 2016 Six Nations, having gained just one point from two games after a disappointing start.
Up next are Eddie Jones’ England in Twickenham who top the table with two wins from two having beaten Scotland and Italy in their opening games. Schmidt called up five uncapped players for the opening rounds of the championship but only CJ Stander has made his debut thus far.
At Mullingar RFC, on Friday, Schmidt spoke to the Irish Times
“I think you will see guys over the next three games that you probably haven’t seen in the tournament so far.
“I don’t know which of the games or which number of the games but in the last two Six Nations we have been hanging in, tooth and nail, fighting for the wins that we needed or the [points] differential that we needed.
“We haven’t been in this position where mathematically we have a chance but realistically the chance is a long shot, and where we actually get a window of opportunity to maybe blood a few new guys and chase results at the same time.
“I don’t think it is going to change our outlook in what we want to achieve but it is going to give us an opportunity to maybe look at a few guys like the big fella there and a few others.”
‘The big fella” he is referring to is surely none other than Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey. The centre has been in fine form, resembling a young Jamie Roberts and could be exactly what Ireland need in the centre to partner Robbie Henshaw.
Schmidt may give the young guns only a cameo at Twickenham before handing out full debuts in Dublin.