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Published: Mon, March 19, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

Ireland Grand Slam heroes denied homecoming by weather

Ireland Grand Slam heroes denied homecoming by weather

Joe Schmidt's side beat England 24-15 on the final weekend of this year's championships to secure only the third Grand Slam in their history.

"I didn't hear it".

But Best has hailed the way the Kiwi coach had refreshed the side with young talent and the Irish tyros repaid Schmidt's faith in them with peerless performances under pressure.

Hansen's All Blacks contract expires after the next World Cup with his future beyond Japan 2019 undecided but the 58-year-old is adamant he will not take charge of another worldwide side if he does step down.

"Yes, they can put together some really good moments and score tries". They've got central contracting which allows them to maybe have a bit more control over playing time and player welfare better than the countries where they don't have that luxury.

Ireland are up to second in the world rankings, ahead of England, following their NatWest 6 Nations triumph with just one Championship to go before the 2019 World Cup.

"I'm destroyed for the lads and the fans but we've seen our future", said Italy coach Conor O\Shea.

"It is all about fine margins and we looked dead and buried", said Best.

"I don't know what I'll do when the day comes for me to finish but coaching is in my blood. That's what we're going through". "It's the biggest highlight of my career". We created a couple of opportunities and a few things we planned went our way. But it was far from easy.

"They delivered on that side, but that pure resilience, that ability to get back up and get back in the defensive line to protect that try-line in the eight minutes after half time, was exceptional".

The front-row features world-class players such as British and Irish Lions Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong and Jack McGrath.

"We weren't the most efficient, but came up against a very strong Welsh defence", said France coach Jacques Brunel after a defeat that left Les Bleus in fourth place. We hadn't followed through on his plan before this.

They will be breathing down New Zealand's neck if they keep up their form on the summer tour to Australia.

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