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Former British and Irish Lion to lead Emerging Ireland on tour of South Africa

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Wednesday Jun 12, 2024

Simon Easterby has been confirmed as lead coach of the Emerging Ireland team for their tour of South Africa this Autumn. This will be the Irish second-string side’s first appearance in two years, giving international prospects the opportunity to experience the green jersey as they work towards full international call ups.

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The former Scarlets and Ireland international will oversee matches against the Pumas, Western Force and the Cheetahs, joined by his coaching team of forwards coach Paul O’Connell, Ireland scrum coach John Fogarty and incoming Ireland backs coach Andrew Goodman.

DUBLIN, IRELAND – FEBRUARY 11: Simon Easterby, the Ireland defence coach, looks on during the Guinness Six Nations 2024 match between Ireland and Italy at Aviva Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell had the following to say about the prospects on the Emerging Ireland tour: “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.”

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,

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“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.”

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