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Schmidt Looking To ‘Get The Best’ Out Of Coaching Trio

Schmidt Looking To ‘Get The Best’ Out Of Coaching Trio

In an interview with RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, which aired on RTE’s ‘Sunday Sport’ programme today, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt confirmed that Girvan Dempsey, Felix Jones and Ronan O’Gara will be incorporated into the coaching group for the upcoming summer tour to the USA and Japan.

Former Ireland internationals Girvan Dempsey, Felix Jones and Ronan O’Gara will join up with the squad at different stages on the three-week tour which takes in matches in America and Japan. O’Gara, Ireland’s record points scorer, will be involved in the Stateside leg.


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Speaking about the plans, Joe 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.”

The Ireland head coach added: “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’re 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’ve 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 summer tour just because we felt the last time we got the players away in South Africa last June, 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.”

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