Sport Rugby

Monday 21 October 2019

Ireland caretaker coach Kiss confirms he will be part of Schmidt's back-room team

Les Kiss is relishing the opportunity to work under Joe Schmidt's in Ireland's coaching team
Les Kiss is relishing the opportunity to work under Joe Schmidt's in Ireland's coaching team
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

LES KISS has confirmed that he will be part of Joe Schmidt's team when the New Zealander takes over as Ireland coach this summer.

The Australian's deal has yet to be signed but it will mirror the head coach's three-year term after Kiss has guided the summer tour to the USA and Canada.

Kiss' appointment will add continuity as he had been part of Declan Kidney's ticket since 2008.

The caretaker coach yesterday named his squad for the two-Test trip to Houston and Toronto, which will be captained by Rory Best. Rhys Ruddock will skipper an Emerging Ireland squad who travel to Georgia at the same time.

"I've had that conversation with Joe and I can confirm that I will be part of the coaching structure. These conversations haven't been in depth, there is too much going on," Kiss confirmed, adding he did not consider other options after it became clear that the opportunity to stay was on the cards.

Although Schmidt has been busy preparing Leinster for back-to-back finals, he did have input into the selection process and reviewed the squad before it was named.

Connacht's Robbie Henshaw and Ulster's Stuart Olding are in the senior squad despite being eligible for the U-20 Junior World Cup, while uncapped quartet Kieran Marmion, Jamie Hagan, Tommy O'Donnell and Mike Sherry could also make their debuts.

Kiss will be assisted by Gert Smal, Anthony Foley and Ulster's Neil Doak on the tour which begins with the clash with the US Eagles on June 8. see page 25

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