Ireland have to believe - Lancaster


    27 Oct 2016     Perform

As a coach who has an All Blacks scalp on his belt after England's win in 2012, Lancaster said he 100 percent believed that Ireland could do the job in Chicago next week.

"They've got two opportunities," he told

"Obviously the first one [Test] is going to be away from home and will be tough because of trouble and the lack of chance with time to prepare. But I've seen the quality of players here in Ireland. The game at the Aviva [second Test in Dublin] will be in fantastic environment and Ireland have got to believe they can do it.

"With Andy Farrell's defensive systems, and what he has learned from his experiences against New Zealand, and what Joe (Schmidt) will bring with his intellectual property…the set-piece will be strong.

"I think Ireland should be optimistic," Lancaster said.

The former England coach who bowed out of his role after the side's exit from last year's Rugby World Cup said his side's 38-21 win in 2012 had been a big weight off his shoulders so soon after taking on the role after replacing Martin Johnson.

"We had lost against Australia and South Africa in that series and the momentum had turned against me.

"There was a decision in one of the previous games [Chris Robshaw's choice to take a penalty kick over a lineout in the 22 against South Africa] that the captain had come under criticism for, but we held together and we held our belief.

"I think the most important thing about beating the All Blacks is that have to have to believe you can," he said.

Ireland had shown what they could do when just missing out on beating the All Blacks in 2013 so with that knowledge they did have the right to believe in themselves, he said.