Joe Schmidt speaks about Ronan O’Gara’s involvement in Summer Tour.
The Irish rugby team minus their Lions contingent will tour the USA and Japan. Summer tours in a Lions year always offer teams a chance to blood younger quicker than might normally be the case.
Joe Schmidt confirmed that the Munster legend Ronan O’Gara will be involved as a coach this summer. In a interview with RTE Radio One this is what he had to say..
‘I’ve had a lot of conversations with Ronan over the years, and especially with him being in France and my experiences over there’.
‘We conversed often on what’s happening over there and a little bit of what’s happening here. He’s indicated that he’s keen to get into the environment just to get a bit of a look so we’re going to put him to work and he’s going to do some skills-coach work with us’.
Schmidt will also have two other new coaches coming on board for the tour in Girvan Dempsey and Felix Jones. He expressed his excitement at getting to work with both men.
‘Girvan Dempsey, who is I think, growing in confidence all the time in his role in Leinster, and the same with Felix Jones who has made a really positive impression under Rassie Erasmus and Munster’.
‘I think they are three outstanding young men who have fantastic potential to be coaching in this country and we want to try and get the best out of them on tour. We want to give them all an opportunity so they are overlapping for the best past of eight to ten days the first one O’Gara and nine days for the other two’.
‘I’m really looking forward to working with them. I’ve obviously worked with Girv before and I’ve worked with Felix in a coach-player relationship. He was superb to coach as a player’.
The New Zealander revealed O’Gara will be particularly helping the with the young fly-half’s such as Joey Carbery and skills coaching in general with many up and coming players.
‘Basically the role will be skills and hopefully working with the young number 10’s. Depending on who goes it could be a number of young players and as you know it’s a position you get better with age’.
‘It’s important that their basic skills are good, especially their confidence levels are good. Hopefully I can pass on one or two learning tools and get to work with everybody’.
It’s brilliant to see O’Gara getting involved with the Irish Rugby team. Many of the players admire and look up to him so having him as a coach will do nothing else but benefit the players and the team.