Ireland complete the Triple Crown ahead of New Zealand tour

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That's coach Andy Farrell's view after Ireland completed the Triple Crown at the weekend. Ireland beat Scotland 26-5 to finish second to France in the Six Nations.

 

Ireland has never beaten the All Blacks on New Zealand soil, but Farrell was involved in Ireland's three victories over the All Blacks, two as assistant-coach in 2016 in Chicago and 2018 in Dublin, and last year's 29-20 win in Dublin as head coach.

 

Ireland will head to New Zealand with 12 wins in their last 13 games, and, in the Six Nations, they topped the try-scoring list with 24 while conceding only four tries.

 

"It's the perfect opportunity that the group needs," he said at Saturday's post-game press conference.

 

"We've talked time and time again about the lack of touring.

 

 

"It's priceless. It looks like we're able to bring a slightly bigger group, which is great because we probably had 37 lads in camp and there's probably four or six of them that have gone away injured," he said.

 

They were players who had already had a sniff and some who hadn't had a game. The management wanted to see them under pressure, he said.

 

"Going to New Zealand, there will be no pressure like it. It's the perfect opportunity for us to find out more about ourselves," he said.

 

Captain Johnny Sexton said they now faced world rugby's biggest test -  going to New Zealand.

 

"We're going to have to be a hell of a lot better over the next year-and-a-half and that's what all our focus will be on," he said.

 

Sexton believed Ireland had not played to its potential during the Six Nations and not to the level it showed against New Zealand last year.

 

"We have come from some low times. It's only a few years ago we were being written off. The coach was being written off, the captain was being written off and the team was being written off. It's pretty fickle, sport, isn't it"?

 

"So, we will keep our feet grounded because we know how fickle it is," he said.

 

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