SIX NATIONS: I am living the dream says Ireland captain Rory Best

The likes of Hartley and Robshaw have to squeeze past and keep it zipped. "We're really happy with today".

England, the Six Nations kings in both 2016 and 2017, could have regained second spot with a victory.

For Ireland, well, they are taking it as it comes. Forget the setting, it's the words that will be remembered. You never really find out about yourselves unless you have these runs. Robbie Henshaw, unfortunately, getting that second try [against Italy], I'd rather we were one less try and one more man available but also Jacob Stockdale plucking those couple of intercepts against Wales and Scotland.

"The defence was enormous, we had to really fight our way out of the 22, there was a heck of a lot of character shown". "Youthful enthusiasm is being tempered by the experienced guys who have been here before and that blend is working very well for us". "We're a little bit greedy".

An event to celebrate Joe Schmidt and the Irish rugby team on what was only our third Grand Slam in history had been scheduled to take place at the Aviva Stadium at 4.30pm on Sunday, but has fallen foul of the so-called "Son of the Beast".

The trip Down Under is already bubbling away in Schmidt's mind but there was still time to reflect on his greatest coaching achievement.

Some critics would refuse to call Schmidt's coaching style poetic, but this Grand Slam success has shown that the head coach is increasingly drawing creative strokes from his team.

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I don't think we have.

"Yeah, it's hard to equate anything with this". I can't control what you say, what the crowd does.

"This is massive and it's massive for the group of players that we've got".

"No matter what you try to do as a coach you can't create courage".

"When you take over it is reasonably easy, like I did with England, it is quite easy to improve them quickly because you get to fix certain things that need fixing quickly", he added.

By winning the Six Nations title, Ireland have marked themselves as the current best rugby team in the Northern Hemisphere. Joe Schmidt knows it and that's what drives him on.

  • Megan Austin