Easterby To Lead Emerging Ireland Tour To South Africa

Easterby To Lead Emerging Ireland Tour To South Africa

An Emerging Ireland squad will travel to South Africa this Autumn to play three matches against Currie Cup and Super Rugby opposition, providing high potential players with an opportunity to connect with the National Coaching Team and perform under the intensity of the National Team environment.

Following the success of the 2022 Emerging Ireland Tour, Ireland Defence Coach Simon Easterby will once again lead the squad to South Africa, assisted by Ireland Forwards Coach Paul O’Connell, Ireland Scrum Coach John Fogarty and incoming Ireland Backs Coach Andrew Goodman.

The squad will assemble at the IRFU High Performance Centre on 25 September, before departing for Bloemfontein three days later.

Emerging Ireland will face the Pumas in the campaign opener on Wednesday, 2 October, before going head-to-head with Super Rugby outfit Western Force on Sunday, 6 October.

Easterby’s side will then conclude the Tour against defending Currie Cup champions the Cheetahs on Wednesday, 9 October, with all matches being played at Toyota Stadium.

The Tour schedule is designed to challenge the players in a National Team environment, providing them with a window to impress the coaches and train and play to the National Team’s tactical and technical approach.

Two years ago, Jack Crowley, Calvin Nash and Joe McCarthy were among those who made a significant impression for Emerging Ireland as they claimed the Toyota Challenge title courtesy of wins over the Windhoek Draught Griquas, the Pumas and the Cheetahs, with all three part of Andy Farrell‘s Men’s Guinness Six Nations-winning squad earlier this season.

On today’s announcement, the Ireland Head Coach said: “We are delighted to confirm details of a second Emerging Ireland Tour to South Africa later this year, the value of which cannot be understated. This short three-match window will once again provide an opportunity for players within the system to come into a National Team environment, work with the National Team coaches and access meaningful game time in a green jersey.

“Ahead of a busy four-match Autumn Nations Series in November, it is important we continue to broaden our selection pool and ensure young players are given every opportunity to further develop and gain an understanding of what is required to perform for Ireland at the highest level.”

Emerging Ireland Head Coach, Simon Easterby, added: “The 2022 Tour was of huge value, as evidenced by the cohort of players who have come through and been capped at Test level for Ireland since. It will be a short preparation window leading into three tough matches but that is part of the challenge for the whole group, building connections and getting up to speed to meet the demands of playing in a green jersey.”

Kick off times and broadcast details will be confirmed in due course, while the Emerging Ireland squad for South Africa will be announced in September.

Emerging Ireland Tour, South Africa 2024:

  • Wednesday, 2 October: Emerging Ireland v The Pumas
  • Sunday, 6 October: Emerging Ireland v Western Force
  • Wednesday, 9 October: Emerging Ireland v The Cheetahs.

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