Jump to main content


Supporters Club Exclusive: Les Kiss

Supporters Club Exclusive: Les Kiss

Australian Les Kiss, Ireland’s new defence coach, chatted with IrishRugby.ie at Thursday’s coaching staff press conference in Cork, discussing his experience of the ELVs, what it is like working with the Irish players, the area of video analysis and the defensive strengths of the Irish squad.

Former rugby league player Les Kiss, a winger of high regard in his playing days, has carved out a very successful coaching career for himself in the union code.

From his stint as South Africa’s defence coach (2001) through to his long involvement with the NSW Waratahs, with whom he was an assistant, backs and defence coach as well as a video analyst.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Now charged with marshalling Ireland’s defence through a period of uncertainty with the implementation of the ELVs, Kiss has already been enthused by his early dealings with the squad.

“Firstly, with the experience I’ve had with the new laws and my experience as an assistant coach of the Waratahs in that area, there’s something I’ve got to bring from that to our value,” he told IrishRugby.ie, as he took a break from the four-day training camp in Cork.

“And to obviously try and make sure we can assess what the new laws will bring to us.

“When I looked at the Ireland team and the players available, the excitement level was right up there.

“Because the fighting spirit of this team is great, the attitude of the team is great and since we’ve been in camp, their attentiveness to the work we’re trying to do with them has been fantastic.

“There’s an intention there, there’s a spirit there, there’s an endeavour there by this team and I’m looking forward to hopefully tapping into that with some of my expertise.”

Kiss has some early aims in his new position and is confident he can build on the good work of Graham Steadman, who was Ireland’s defence coach from 2005 to this year.

“There’s some wonderful things there already to work with…obviously been left in pretty good hands by (Graham) Steadman and the coaches in the past

“I’m looking forward to just developing a couple of different philosophies and other techniques and hopefully that can help the whole picture.”

To listen to the Les Kiss interview in full, please click here.