Sunday 18 February 2018

Kiss and Tainton to get bigger Ireland roles

Ireland's defence coach Les Kiss
Ireland's defence coach Les Kiss

Hugh Farrelly

IRELAND are set to confirm expanded roles for Les Kiss and Mark Tainton in the Six Nations, with no direct replacement for former backs coach Alan Gaffney.

Defence coach Kiss and kicking coach Tainton will see their working briefs expanded to include responsibility for Ireland's attacking play when the Six Nations gets under way in February, as it was deemed there was not enough time to find a replacement for Gaffney, whose contract expired after the World Cup

Kiss has been a notable success since coming in as defence coach in 2008 and has displayed an innovative approach, earning widespread credit for his coaching of the 'choke tackle' which was a critical element in Ireland's World Cup victory against Australia and has been introduced as a defensive tactic by other nations.

The Ireland players not involved in this weekend's Pro12 fixtures gathered in Carton House, Co Kildare last night for their first camp since the World Cup quarter-final defeat to Wales and are scheduled to train today and tomorrow before breaking up around lunchtime tomorrow.

The other major leadership decision is choosing who will replace the injured Brian O'Driscoll as captain. That could be made during this training camp or delayed until the announcement of the full Six Nations squad after round five of the Heineken Cup on Sunday, January 15.

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