Ireland's Kiwi coach Joe Schmidt has admitted that his mother may not have accepted his apology for his role in defeating Steve Hansen's All Blacks in Chicago.

"She thought my apology was false and she was right!" Schmidt joked with the Irish press this week in the lead-up to their test against Canada.

"But I was delighted we won the game and I suppose she was as well."

Schmidt used a sideline interview with Sky TV after Ireland's 40-29 victory to apologise to his Mum who watched the game live back in New Zealand.


The 51-year-old former schoolteacher's daughter Abby has also joked that she is now a converted Irish fan.

Schmidt was speaking as he named a side to face Canada featuring a raft of changes from the side that beat the All Blacks at Soldier Field.

"This is a genuine opportunity for players to put their hands up," Schmidt said. "It is open-ended in terms of selection.

"They need to do their jobs to get that opportunity this week. We won't want to underestimate Canada either."

A number of players will make their debuts including midfield back Garry Ringrose and 31-year-old Billy Holland who has bene a long-time understudy to a clutch of veteran locks including Paul O'Connell and Donncha O'Callaghan.

"Garry was really close to playing last week, he has trained well and given us confidence that he is ready and we have no doubt that he will be," said Schmidt. "He has experience either side of him so it is an outstanding entry to international ruby for him.

"Garry is a natural player, he reads the game and can be ahead of it. And being lean and strong, he can slip through tackles and get over the gain-line and he is astute in defence.
Schmidt said Holland deserved his chance.

"He knows what needs to be done really well and he does it so well with Munster, who were so strong for so long in the second-row for so many years. but he has stepped up in recent years.

"Peter and Sean will be frustrated perhaps but I want them to be focused and I know they will do that for the group.

"we were tempted to play them last week but we were worried about them taking a knock early on, as it transpired, it happened anyway but it was a long afternoon in heat for Josh van der Flier.

"But we were confident that he could deliver because he had the match time under his belt."