Jared Payne splits opinion more than anyone else in the Irish squad. Some see him as a crucial part of Schmidt’s gameplan while others thing he simply lacks creativity in midfield.
Teammate Tommy Bowe however is a Jared Payne fan and was quick to defend criticism.
As a squad, we know what a talented player Jared is. He has a lot of time on the ball and he makes it easy for us wingers and people inside and outside him to play with because he’s just so consistent.
His communication is very good from a defensive point of view and he’s probably one of the best passers of the ball in the squad. He has a bit of X-Factor about him when he gets the opportunity to put it on.
The man that used to hold the famous 13 jersey, Brian O’Driscoll was also full of praise for Payne.
I don’t mind a guy that doesn’t always offload. I’m not looking for Sonny Bill where the exception to the rule is he actually takes the ball to ground and they recycle.
What I like about Jared is that he looks for it and if it’s there great, but he doesn’t force it. He’ll take the ball into contact if he has to. I really have to say any of the stick he has gotten is completely unfounded. I really believe he is the glue in this team that is combining what we have at half-back with the talent we have on our wings and full-back now.
What do you think LADS? Is Payne the man for the job?