Farrell claims Irish World Cup hangover doesn't exist

Farrell claims Irish World Cup hangover doesn't exist

Ireland's head coach, Andy Farrell, has claimed that the idea of a World Cup hangover from October is not something that the current Irish rugby team is contending with.

On Friday evening, Ireland beat the French in Marseille and not only beat them but beat them by a record score of 17-38.

Tries from Dan Sheehan, Calvin Nash, Ronan Kelleher, Jamison Gibson-Park, and Tadhg Beirne ensured that Ireland got the defence of their Grand Slam title off to a flying start.

Ireland were narrowly beaten 24-28 by New Zealand, and France lost 28-29 to eventual champions South Africa, and there had been fears before the game that Ireland and France would be hurt by their World Cup exit in October.

Despite it being a tough loss to take, Farrell has dismissed the idea of Ireland's players needing a hangover cure for the upcoming Six Nations campaign.

"In all honesty, it had nothing to do with it. I got asked the question before the game on TV there about putting [the World Cup] behind you; it didn't even register," said Farrell.

"It's not something. We talk about hangovers, etc.; there's no hangover with us. There is a realisation of where we're at, where we need to go next, and what we need to learn, and that's it.

"Hangovers are for tomorrow. We're three months down the line, you know. That's a big hangover if you can't get over it in that time.

"We talk about our past performances all the time; sometimes we go back three years to say 'we learned this' or whatever. So, of course, we learned big things from the All Blacks defeat, but it's not a hangover; it's just the next step in how we progress going forward as a team, and that's how it should be."

Winning huge games has become part and parcel of Ireland under Farrell and Co., and many expect the Irish team to defend their Six Nations and Grand Slam crowns.

It would be unlike certain pundits and fans to jump the gun and crown Ireland Six Nations champions already, but Ireland's captain Peter O'Mahony and the Irish squad have given a typically cliche answer and said they will be taking it one game at a time.

"Look, we've been on a journey for a long time, and we've had lots of great experiences and banked them, and we've had some tough ones and banked them as well," said the 34-year-old.

"It's always about getting better, and tonight was another step for the group, and we spoke about it being a huge occasion for us.

"But at the same time, it's just another game for us, and how calm and composed we could really be in an environment like that out there was a great test for the group."

Ireland next plays Italy on February 11.