Dempsey vows to ramp up production line after landing Leinster Academy job
Published 01/12/2012 | 05:00
GIRVAN DEMPSEY has been charged with unearthing the next Jonny Sexton after being appointed Leinster's Academy manager.
Sexton is one of a number of high-profile stars to graduate from the Academy in recent years, along with Sean O'Brien, Kevin McLaughlin, Ian Madigan and Munster's Felix Jones.
Dempsey's (pictured) promotion continues an association with Leinster that goes all the way back to schools level.
He was capped 82 times by Ireland – his last Test appearance came in 2008 – and 175 times by the Leinster senior side. He played in two World Cups, in 2003 and 2007, and won Triple Crowns in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
He was an unused replacement for Leinster in their 2009 Heineken Cup final triumph and, on his retirement from playing, was appointed elite player development officer with the province.
In his new role, he will be responsible for the delivery of the IRFU elite player development programmes that are designed to produce players for the professional game.
Dempsey was effusive in his praise for the work already done in the province and his excitement at the challenge of the new role.
"I'm very proud to have the opportunity to work with the up-and-coming young players of Irish rugby.
"We have had much success in Leinster based on the number of players from our clubs and schools who have moved on to the professional ranks and, hopefully, we will be able to continue that and see more of them play for Leinster and earn selection for Ireland teams."
Leinster Academy graduates who have come through with HETAC diplomas in recent years: Fionn Carr, Matthew D'Arcy, Mark Flanagan, Jason Harris-Wright, Felix Jones, Brendan Macken, Ian Madigan, Ross McCarron, Jack McGrath, Conor McInerney, Ian McKinley, Kevin McLaughlin, Shane Monahan, Sean O'Brien, James Power, Ciaran Ruddock, Rhys Ruddock, Dominic Ryan, Jonny Sexton, Thomas Sexton, Eamonn Sheridan, Richie Sweeney, Devin Toner, Kyle Tonetti, Cillian Willis.