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Kiss: Players Have Embraced New Ideas

Kiss: Players Have Embraced New Ideas

The Ireland players have adopted a typically workmanlike approach to this week’s training camp in Limerick, with their application and general attitude pleasing defence coach Les Kiss.

The Ireland squad trained at Thomond Park on Thursday morning, with Keith Earls sitting out the session as he continues the rehabilitation programme on his ankle injury.

The players will train again in Limerick tomorrow (Friday) before they disperse for the weekend. They will assemble again in Dublin on Monday, as the countdown begins to the GUINNESS Series opener against South Africa.

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Commenting on how the Limerick camp has gone, Ireland defence coach Les Kiss said: “It’s been fantastic so far. We’ve all been waiting to get together in preparation for a fairly tough schedule in the GUINNESS series and the Springboks game first up has really been our focus.

“The guys, you know, I have to compliment them. They’ve come here and embraced the new ideas that the coaching staff have put on the table. They’ve added their own bits to the mix and we’re grateful that they’ve put in such a good performance for the week.”

Kiss also issued an encouraging update on the fitness of Brian O’Driscoll who is recovering steadily from the hamstring injury he sustained in action for Leinster earlier this month.

“Brian is working very hard and over the last two or three days he has put in some good rehab work with the medical staff who are doing a fantastic job there,” he added.

“Talking to him today after the session he was very happy where he ended up, so he has another (rehab) session tomorrow and a couple of days’ rest where he will obviously be doing a little bit of stuff and we will see how he goes after that.”

Declan Kidney and his management team are priming the players for a bruising schedule of Test matches, with South Africa, Samoa, New Zealand and Argentina all visiting the Aviva Stadium over the next month.

“It’s a physical challenge right throughout the GUINNESS Series,” agreed Kiss, who helped Ireland go unbeaten through last November’s three-Test series against Australia, Fiji and South Africa.

“That starts in defence in a lot of ways with the Springboks in particular, as they challenge you at the set piece, they challenge you around the edge of the rucks and they also have the ability to shift the ball around the park and hurt you in that way as well.

“Plus will they play a contestable kick game and challenge you in that way? So, we have a lot on our plate to handle in that area, but the approach so far has been fantastic, as I said earlier, and we are just really looking forward to that first game.

“And obviously with it being the Aviva Stadium’s first international rugby match, we hope we can do it justice.”