Friday, June 14, 2024

Emerging Ireland: Simon Easterby to lead Irish youngsters in South Africa tour

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The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) will send an Emerging Ireland squad to South Africa later this year for a three-match competition in Bloemfontein.

Ireland defence coach Simon Easterby has been named head coach for the tour, having also held that role in 2022.

Easterby, who is a candidate to lead Ireland’s senior team in next year’s Six Nations while head coach Andy Farrell focuses on British and Irish Lions duties, will be assisted by forwards Paul O’Connell, scrum coach John Fogarty and backs coach Andrew Goodman.

The Emerging Ireland squad will assemble at the IRFU High Performance Centre in Dublin on 25 September before travelling to South Africa three days later.

They will face the Pumas on 2 October and Western Force on 6 October before concluding the tour against the Cheetahs three days later, with Toyota Stadium hosting all three games.

The games will be played a month before the senior side face New Zealand, Argentina, Fiji and Australia in the autumn Tests.

The Emerging Ireland tour in 2022 proved a success for the IRFU with Jack Crowley, Calvin Nash and Joe McCarthy all making an impression in South Africa before graduating to Farrell’s senior set-up.

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