We have become so used to success in Irish rugby that Saturday’s defeat to Wales was tough to take.
While Warren Gatland said that he was cancelling the post-tournament review for the Welsh coaching staff and their work throughout the Championship, there will be a more solemn sense around the Lansdowne Road HQ of Irish rugby.
Time now for the players to lick their wounds and return to the provinces for a crucial few months ahead on the Heineken Champions Cup and the Guinness PRO14.
Victories there will help instil the sense of confidence that had lifted Ireland and the whole sport here over the last few years.
There will still be a sense of ‘what was that?’ when the team gathers again, most likely in July, ahead of pre-tournament ‘friendlies’ in August and departure for Japan.
As a pop survey of the Sport for Business community, we would be interested to see your views on three simple questions as to your view on where the team and the players sit in terms of the public perspective as we all draw breath and move onto the next stage in the cycle of the sporting year.
We will reveal the results of the survey towards the end of the week and they will form an element of next month’s Members Round Table on the subject of Brand Ambassadors, hosted by BDO, more detaiuls of which we will be publishing this week.
Image Credit: Dan Sheridan. Inpho.ie