Recently-retired Leinster wing Shane Horgan has revealed that head coach Joe Schmidt’s passion for ‘simulation’ is behind the province’s strong showings in both the RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup.
Schmidt coached Leinster to the European title and the RaboDirect PRO12 Final in his first season with the province last year.
With a European cup semi-final against Clermont Auvergne this weekend and a home RaboDirect PRO12 play-off spot already in the bag, Leinster are in line to go one better than last year and win a domestic and European double.
The 33-year-old Horgan was forced to retire in March because of a long-term knee injury but not before he’d seen enough of Schmidt in action to pinpoint exactly where the Kiwi has an advantage over rival coaches.
“A big thing for Joe (Schmidt) is something called simulation,” Horgan told the Herald.
“That means if you're not getting the ball, you're simulating to get the ball.
“If we had a scrum and stacked the players to the left with only one player on the right, Joe would expect simulation from the lone back, the eight and the nine.
"If you're not getting the ball, you have to simulate or he would pull you out and sit you on the sideline.
"You're not there just to stand on the pitch. You always have to be working. That is what he's huge on. Everyone is meant to be doing that. He just puts a greater onus on it.
"He will specifically go to a small detail that won't have been picked up in the game by the players or by the television.”