Schmidt calls for faith during Ireland's 'transition period'


Joe Schmidt has vowed that Ireland will come good and urged supporters to keep the faith after their hopes of becoming the first nation to win three successive Six Nations titles ended at Twickenham on Saturday.

The defending champions suffered a 21-10 defeat to leaders England and have failed to win any of their three matches in the tournament so far.

Ireland have been beset by injuries in a miserable campaign which is their first without retired former captain Paul O'Connell, but head coach Schmidt is adamant they will get it right.

"While we've got guys who are coming in and doing a good job, there's a little bit of a transition period," said the New Zealander.

"We're building past that hopefully, but don't lose faith that we won't keep building and hopefully that will be sufficient to keep people enthusiastic about what we do in the next two games.

"I'm positive by nature, I think we tried to play positively with the enterprise we showed and we'll keep trying to do that.

"I am excited about the young guys who are coming in. I'm sure they can well step up to this level, and that's got to be positive going forwards."

Ireland will face Italy and then Scotland at the Aviva Stadium in their two remaining and matches and Schmidt is backing his players to finish the tournament on a high note.

"It's really tough at the moment for players who take so much pride to not quite get the result. But I honestly don't feel we're a million miles away.

"We need to get a result and we need to build toward that over the next two weeks."