In an interview with RTE Radio Rugby Correspondent, Michael Corcoran, which aired on RTE’s Sunday Sport programme on Easter Sunday, Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt confirmed that Girvan Dempsey, Felix Jones and Ronan O’Gara would be incorporated into the coaching group for the summer tour of the USA and Japan this summer.
Dempsey, Jones and O’Gara will join up with the tour squad at different stages on the three week week tour which takes in matches in America and Japan.
Speaking about the plans Schmidt said “I’ve had a lot of conversations with Ronan over the years really and especially with him being in France and my experiences over there. We’ve conversed often on what’s happening over there and a little bit about what’s happening here.
He’s indicated that he be keen to get into the environment and just have a bit of a look. So we are going to put him to work and he is going to do some skills coach work for us.
As is Girvan Dempsey who is I think growing in confidence all the time in his role in Leinster and the same with Felix Jones who I think has made a really positive impression under Rassie Erasmus in Munster.
I think they are three outstanding young men who have fantastic potential to be coaching in this country. We want to try to get the best out of them on tour albeit wanting to give them all an opportunity so they are kind of overlapping with each other for the best part of 8-10 days the first one and then 7-9 days for the other two.
I am really looking forward to working with them. I have obviously worked with Girv before and I have worked with Felix in a coach/player relationship and he was superb to coach as a player and I have known Ronan for a long time so I think they will add a bit of a spark to the coaching group.
The coaching group are incredibly excited about the Tour just because we felt last time the last time we got the players away in South Africa – it was a little bit similar as a group we were missing a lot of the experienced players and I think what you get to know about players on Tour.
You get to spend a little more time with them, you can do a little bit more individual work and as a result I think that pays off further down the line.”