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Kiss bye to old Irish set-up

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28 May 2013; Ireland interim head coach Les Kiss during a press conference ahead of the Ireland Rugby Tour to North America. Ireland Rugby Press Conference, Carton House, Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

28 May 2013; Ireland interim head coach Les Kiss during a press conference ahead of the Ireland Rugby Tour to North America. Ireland Rugby Press Conference, Carton House, Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

28 May 2013; Ireland interim head coach Les Kiss during a press conference ahead of the Ireland Rugby Tour to North America. Ireland Rugby Press Conference, Carton House, Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

IRELAND interim coach Les Kiss is looking forward to "challenging certain ways we think" with Joe Schmidt in what looks like an exciting international coaching ticket.

"We can look at a part of the game and have a philosophy about a methodology to apply and we don't rebut anything. We will look at it and explore it," said Kiss.

"There may be disagreements but it is very hands-on. We wouldn't be too far removed but enough differences to be able to challenge certain ways we think.

"And not be so comfortable that we think we have the same answers all the time. You need common minds. But you need challenging thinking as well and I think that will sit nicely with us."

Schmidt was out at Carton House yesterday, in a purely observational role, to see Kiss work with the Ireland squad set to travel to Houston and Toronto for Test matches against the USA and Canada, respectively.

"Joe's influence will begin but probably in other areas, in observation, in training, in looking over players, and that'll build from there."

It will be interesting to see how the marriage between Schmidt and Kiss develops as like-minded coaches with bright attacking philosophies.

There was a time at the start of Schmidt's tenure at Leinster when Kiss was introduced as a defence coach. This was a short-lived arrangement.

"Since my days here I have been very active getting around the provinces, building relationships and rapport," said Kiss.

"I worked as much as I could with all the provinces. There was a part there where I was mentoring Johnny Bell up North as a defence coach.

 

Chance

"When Joe came there was a chance to work closely there and I did a few sessions with him but Mike Forshaw was at Connacht and I was doing stuff over there.

"I was trying to be effective with everyone and the time came when I couldn't give a complete involvement, so it just evolved that way more than anything. There was no issue. It was just a matter of load."

There will be the small matter of managing the United States' physicality and their expansive attack under Trinity College's Tony Smeeth, their attack coach, in raging humidity in Houston on Saturday week.

The US are also expected to have the majority of their overseas stars available, like the Northampton Saints' back-five enforcer Manu Samoa and Biarritz flyer Taku Ngwenya.

"I wouldn't say they are structureless, they have a good strong framework that they work around," said Kiss.

"Tony Smeeth, who works with Trinity, has done a good job there and we know each other quite well and he knows Irish rugby quite well.

"He's worked with their backs and you can see that their game definitely has an extra channel or two more, it's not just a singular focus. There's a bit more variation to their attack, for sure."


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