Simon Easterby will be head coach. Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Simon Easterby named in charge of Emerging Ireland squad for South Africa tour

Supported by Paul O’Connell, Mike Catt and John Fogarty, the 35-player group will feature a number of U20s who have impressed in recent years.

SIMON EASTERBY WILL take charge of an Emerging Ireland squad for three fixtures in South Africa this autumn.

Supported by Paul O’Connell, Mike Catt and John Fogarty, the 35-player squad will face the Griquas (September 30), Pumas (October 5) and Cheetahs (October 9) over a nine-day period.

“The growth we witnessed in the less experienced players in New Zealand over the four weeks was incredible to see,” Easterby said.

“The two Māori fixtures were invaluable in broadening our talent pool ahead of RWC23 and the coaching group see this as another opportunity to increase the depth of talent available to the national squad ahead of the World Cup in France and beyond.”

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, added: “This opportunity presented itself quite late but the drawn Series against the Māori All Blacks in July highlighted the value of exposing less experienced players to the rigours of an international set-up, and the benefit that can be garnered from a challenging touring environment and exposure to the national coaching group.

irelands-david-nucifora Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

“This tournament will provide a significant development opportunity for a group of talented young players.”

The Emerging Ireland squad is set to feature a number of the U20 internationals who have impressed over the last number of seasons.

Toyota Challenge 2022

Friday 30th September

  • Windhoek Draught Griquas vs Emerging Ireland
  • KO: 12:45 (Irish time)

Wednesday 5th October

  • Airlink Pumas vs Emerging Ireland
  • KO: 16:00 (Irish time)

Sunday October 9

  • Toyota Cheetahs vs Emerging Ireland
  • KO: 12:00 (Irish time)

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