‘The lads have waited a long time for this’ – Schmidt

Date published: November 6 2016

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said you need a full squad of dedicated players to beat the All Blacks.

Schmidt said after his side's famous victory at Soldier Field in Chicago where Ireland claimed a 40-29 win. The Ireland boss said that lessons had been learnt after their close loss to New Zealand in Dublin three years ago.

"You can't beat the All Blacks with 13 or 14 or 15 or 16 players, you've really got to have about 32 because you're always going to have a bit of attrition and when those guys come off the bench they've got to add value. I felt they did that today and the guys kicked them off really well at the start and probably gave them a bit of confidence when they did come on that we were potentially up to the task today," Schmidt told the All Blacks website.

Schmidt said he was incredibly proud of his players and that they deserve a break after their momentous victory.

"The lads have waited a long time for something like this to happen and they've worked hard in the couple of trainings we had. I think they're delighted and they probably need a couple of days off after that.

"I'm incredibly proud of how the boys put themselves out and worked incredibly hard at 33-29 with that All Black wave, there was a little bit of déjà vu there with them doing a similar thing to us in Dublin three years ago but it was great the way they bounced back and managed to get that score [Robbie Henshaw's try] and get a little bit of breathing space," he said.