Kay questions Ireland strategy

Date published: September 13 2015

Rugby World Cup winner Ben Kay thinks Ireland are taking a risk in looking to peak towards the climax of their pool, against France on October 11.

Having spoken to people around the squad, the former England second-row is convinced the Irish have slowed their preparations during the warm-up games.

"That's a risky strategy if you can't get the confidence," Kay told BBC Sport.

"Because their first World Cup game is against Canada – they haven't performed particularly well – then Romania, Ireland probably have the easiest draw.

"So they've got that build-up then they have a tougher game against Italy and the big one against France at the end.

"Speaking to people around the squad they are saying that their build-up has been slightly different in that they are looking to peak slightly later in the tournament."

He added though that he believes Ireland have the right man in charge in Joe Schmidt and thinks they have a great chance to lift the World Cup this year.

"Joe Schmidt is tactically one of the best coaches in the world though and always brings the best out of the squad," said the now pundit.

"This Irish team has gone very much into a style of rugby that suits World Cups.

"You don't see many teams winning World Cup finals running in bagfuls of tries.

"While it might not be so exciting to watch, with the high ball to the fore, but in their half-back combination (Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton) they've probably got the most settled game-management team."