But clear-the-air talks over Christmas helped drag Ireland out of a difficult 18 months as they landed the trophy.
And Ronan O'Gara revealed the talks had a huge bearing on the eventual success they enjoyed.
"It took time. But the important thing is to have an open forum to discuss your beliefs and that happened," said O'Gara.
"There were a lot of honest and open meetings before Christmas.
"Once we left that camp, fellas began to realise this was a team that was going places.
"There was a time when we couldn't even pass the ball along the backline.
"There was something wrong there and that needed to be addressed.
"Declan's massive input is to create a happy environment and get the players to believe in themselves."