Les Kiss speaking today
By Grainne McGuinness
Ireland assistant rugby coach Les Kiss has said tomorrow’s match against Georgia is an opportunity for players to prove their worthiness for a place in the side to face Australia next week.
Joe Schmidt made 13 changes from the starting side that beat South Africa last week and there were also new faces among the replacements.
Kiss spoke today after the Captain’s Run in the Aviva of the importance of the chance these players are being given.
“The pure fact of the matter is we’ve got 15 guys to start and we’ve got some guys to come off the branch,” he said.
“The opportunity isn’t about anything in the distant future, it’s about what they do in each minute of the game to ensure they can actually deliver. So then we can say, yep, you’re worthy to be in that squad for next week.”
He stressed that opportunity extended to players coming on during the game.
“We rate that highly, how people deliver when they come off the bench. It’s a massive play for us.”
Darren Cave training this week
Kiss was asked specifically about Darren Cave, who was only called up to the squad this week, but was keen to stress the chance that all players in the matchday squad were being offered.
“It’s an opportunity for Darren, it’s an opportunity for a lot of people,” he said. “The opportunity is to be in the squad for next week.
“That’s what we’re focused on and it’s a massive chance for guys.”
Dominic Ryan makes his first start for Ireland tomorrow
Dave Foley and Dominic Ryan are getting their first starts tomorrow and Eoin Reddan has taken over the captain’s armband. Kiss also indicated that Robin Copeland, named among the replacements, may also get his first run out in an Ireland jersey tomorrow.
“We’ve got two debutants, maybe one off the bench, and Eoin Reddan’s first game as a captain, which is fully deserved,” Kiss said.
“So there’s some special moments around the day, but they only matter if you really forge together as a team and respect the challenge that’s in front of us.”
Ireland’s assistant coach also talked about the opposition and the challenges they would pose in tomorrow’s game
“We know that they traditionally have a very good, tight five and the work they do in that area is something they build their game around,” he said.
“They’re very strong and big, they like to play from counter, the 9s and 10s will kick to the corner and they’re fairly tall guys so they can snatch ball in the air. They will challenge us in those areas.”
The game between Ireland and Georgia is in the Aviva on Sunday November 16, kick-off at 2.30pm and reporter Shaun Cronin will be covering the game live for us on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.