Irish players need better communication and “liberation” when they take on Italy on Saturday after a disastrous start to their Six Nations campaign, attacking coach Mike Catt said.
Andy Farrell’s men are heading to Rome in the hope of not losing their first three games for the first time since the 1998 Five Nations – before Italy were added to the tree.
Catt was part of the England side that ensured the Irish finished pointless that year, getting a try in the 35-17 victory on the final day.
The 49-year-old has been criticized for his lack of cuts and struggle which showed the backs in a 21-16 loss to Wales and a 15-13 loss to France.
But Catt, who won the World Cup with England in 2003, said Irish players must learn to shout louder.
“Communication is everything,” he said Monday. “In the past, everyone has relied heavily on your nines (scrum-half) and 10s (fly-half) controlling a game. So, again , that is another big task for us.
“In terms of the silence of some of the players, it’s something we can do so much better.”
Catt said it was important for players to engage themselves physically and verbally wherever they play across the back line.
“It’s not just your half-back that controls it, it’s your instincts to see the place,” he said.
“It’s up to your climbers then to use that ability to get the ball to them and see the place and your full back is involved all the time so, again, that’s very big in terms of personalities.
“We’ll get more out of the players I believe and, again, that’s a lot of work going on.”
Senior coach Farrell has challenged him to show off their “X factor” and players like center Garry Ringrose and the shielded tooth Jordan Larmour have the ability to unleash the magic.
Catt called on the players to express themselves.
“We have deep thinkers in the team and some of them need to free themselves up a bit and go and play the game,” he said.
“But everyone, every player is different so it really gets to know the players and understand what makes them tick and how they can match each other. drag through those games too. “
pi / jw / dmc