Kiss stays in Irish set-up

Les Kiss will continue as part of the Ireland coaching structure after he hands over the reins to new head coach Joe Schmidt.

Kiss stays in Irish set-up

Kiss will lead the team on a summer tour to USA and Canada and, with the incoming boss tied up with Leinster duty, the Australian does not have to worry about being micro-managed.

“No, the couple of conversations Joe and I have had, he has been brilliant,” explained Kiss.

“He just said ‘go ahead and do it’. He doesn’t want to interfere too much, he hasn’t got time to in truth. He’s had a lot of things on his plate, and he’s been very good at just saying ‘It’s your baby, Les, just go and do it’. He’s coming over to observe the players, how they are performing in training and obviously how they perform in tests, and I think that’s important. We welcome that as well, so there’s been no pressure.”

As for Kiss’ future, he will remain part of the international coaching ticket, though the exact nature of his role has not yet been defined.

“I’ve had that conversation with Joe and he’s keen to have me on board and, at this stage, I can say that I will be with the coaching structure going forward. I just have to tidy up a few things but I’m very happy. These conversations haven’t been in-depth, there’s too much going on around the edges.”

Rory Best will captain the summer tour after missing out on the Lions squad, but Kiss confirmed the Ireland team have planned for a situation where Warren Gatland calls up the Ulster hooker.

“First of all, I’d be very happy for him because it was a tough call on him,” said Kiss. “We all think the same in that area. If Rory was called up, then we have got strategies in place in terms of who will come into the squad. And if Rory does move out, we’ll assess who will be captain from there.”

The buzzword for Kiss at yesterday’s press conference was “opportunity”, something he came back to time and again. With regulars such as Jonny Sexton on duty Down Under, Ian Madigan will get a chance to stake a claim for the 10 shirt.

“He’s already doing that at Leinster, isn’t he?” said Kiss with a chuckle. “But yes, Ian will get a chance, Paddy [Jackson] will get a chance, to show their wares on tour so this is ideal for them.”

The acting Ireland coach named-checked plenty of developing talents including Stuart Olding, Kieran Marmion, Jamie Hagan and Cathal Marsh, not to mention Munster’s standout player of the season.

“Tommy O’Donnell has had a fantastic year, he was Munster’s player of the year. The seven’s skills he has shown in terms of good old foraging but also running skills has been pre-eminent in his game all year so again, an opportunity for him to see what the demands of test rugby are. It’s going to be a fantastic experience for all of them.”

(USA and Canada)

Forwards: R Best (Ulster, captain), T Court (Ulster), D Fitzpatrick (Ulster), J Hagan (Leinster),I Henderson (Ulster), C Henry (Ulster), D Kilcoyne (Munster), M McCarthy (Connacht), K McLaughlin (Leinster), T O’Donnell (Munster), P O’Mahony(Munster), M Ross (Leinster), M Sherry (Munster),R Strauss (Leinster), D Toner (Leinster), D Tuohy (Ulster).

Backs: I Boss (Leinster), D Cave (Ulster),R Henshaw (Connacht), P Jackson (Ulster), F Jones (Munster), I Madigan (Leinster), K Marmion(Connacht), P Marshall (Ulster), F McFadden(Leinster), S Olding (Ulster), A Trimble (Ulster),S Zebo (Munster).

(Tblisi Cup, Georgia)

Forwards: S Cronin (Leinster), M Bent (Leinster),D Foley (Munster)*, R Herring (Ulster)*, R Lutton (Ulster)*, J McGrath (Leinster)*, E McKeon(Connacht)*, M Moore (Leinster)*, J Murphy(Leinster)*, R Diack (Ulster)*, R Ruddock (Leinster), D Ryan (Leinster)*, J Ryan (Munster)*, L Stevenson (Ulster)*.

Backs: A Conway (Leinster)*, J Cooney (Leinster)*, M Allen (Ulster)*, E Griffin (Connacht)*, C Marsh (Leinster)*, M Heaney (Ulster)*, D Kearney(Leinster)*, I Keatley (Munster), B Macken(Leinster)*, N Morris (Leicester)*, I Nagle (Munster)*, T O’Halloran (Connacht)*.

* denotes uncapped player

Not considered due to injury: Stephen Ferris, Eoin Reddan, Luke Fitzgerald, Gordon D’Arcy, Luke Marshall, David McSharry, Keith Earls and Stephen Archer.

More in this section

CourtsRugbyPlace: USAPlace: CanadaPerson: KissPerson: Les KissPerson: Joe SchmidtPerson: JoePerson: LesPerson: Kiss’Person: Rory BestPerson: Warren GatlandPerson: RoryPerson: Jonny SextonPerson: Ian MadiganPerson: IanPerson: PaddyPerson: Stuart OldingPerson: Kieran MarmionPerson: Jamie HaganPerson: Cathal MarshPerson: Tommy O’DonnellPerson: R BestPerson: T CourtPerson: D FitzpatrickPerson: J HaganPerson: I HendersonPerson: C HenryPerson: D KilcoynePerson: M McCarthyPerson: K McLaughlinPerson: T O’DonnellPerson: P O’MahonyPerson: M RossPerson: M SherryPerson: R StraussPerson: D TonerPerson: D TuohyPerson: I BossPerson: D CavePerson: R HenshawPerson: P JacksonPerson: F JonesPerson: I MadiganPerson: K MarmionPerson: P MarshallPerson: F McFaddenPerson: OldingPerson: S CroninPerson: M BentPerson: D FoleyPerson: R HerringPerson: R LuttonPerson: J McGrathPerson: E McKeonPerson: M MoorePerson: J MurphyPerson: R DiackPerson: R RuddockPerson: D RyanPerson: J RyanPerson: L StevensonPerson: A ConwayPerson: J CooneyPerson: M AllenPerson: E GriffinPerson: C MarshPerson: M HeaneyPerson: D KearneyPerson: I KeatleyPerson: B MackenPerson: N MorrisPerson: I NaglePerson: T O’HalloranPerson: Stephen FerrisPerson: Eoin ReddanPerson: Luke FitzgeraldPerson: Gordon D’ArcyPerson: Luke MarshallPerson: David McSharryPerson: Keith EarlsPerson: Stephen ArcherEvent: Tblisi CupOrganisation: LeinsterOrganisation: LionsOrganisation: MunsterOrganisation: UlsterOrganisation: ConnachtOrganisation: SOrganisation: GeorgiaOrganisation: Leicester

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox