Joe Schmidt Hits Back At Shane Horgan Over Tommy Bowe Criticism

Joe Schmidt has denied the suggestion from Shane Horgan that the inclusion of winger Tommy Bowe is based on nostalgia rather than form.

Horgan hit out at Schmidt’s decision to include Bowe for the Scotland game and felt his former international team-mate made a “negative contribution”.

“That looked like a nostalgia call, having him in the team,” the RTÉ rugby pundit said. “He hasn’t been playing well, I was very surprised that he was in the 23.

“He then was brought on for one of Ireland’s best backs, if not their best back at the weekend. I thought Earls consistently looked sharp.

“And then Tommy just didn’t look as if he was up to the pace of the game at all. He had a negative contribution.”

Bowe has once again been included this weekend, with Schmidt stating that he’s been training brilliantly all week. Schmidt also responded to comments made by Horgan, insisting that he can’t recall having ever made calls based on nostalgia.

Shane hasn’t spent any time in our environment, he’s never seen Tommy train,” Schmidt told print media at the Irish training base.
“”I’m not sure whether, over the last three and a half-four years, how many nostalgic decisions I’ve made. But I can’t really remember many”
“I think it’s a typically external opinion that is purely opinion-based. We try to base our decision on how a player is performing. I’ve coached Shane and there’s probably been times when people have questioned my selecting him.
“There’s always going to be people questioning selection. I feel that we’re best placed; there’s no way I’d say we get it right every time, because again, there’s a human factor in coaching.
“I’m not sure whether, over the last three and a half-four years, how many nostalgic decisions I’ve made. But I can’t really remember many.”

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