Emerging Ireland side headed for Bloemfontein


NEWS: Bloemfontein will host an Emerging Ireland squad that will play three matches against two Currie Cup and a Super Rugby team in October.

The Tour aims to challenge the players in a National Team environment, providing them with a window to impress the coaches and train and play to the National Team's tactical and technical approach.

Two years ago, Jack Crowley, Calvin Nash, and Joe McCarthy were among those who made a significant impression for the Emerging Ireland side as they claimed the Challenge title courtesy of wins over the Griquas, the Pumas, and the Cheetahs, with all three parts of Andy Farrell's Six Nations-winning squad earlier this season.

Following the success of the 2022 Emerging Ireland Tour, Ireland defence coach Simon Easterby will once again lead the squad to South Africa, assisted by Ireland forwards coach Paul O'Connell, Ireland scrum coach John Fogarty, and incoming Ireland backs coach Andrew Goodman.

Emerging Ireland will face the Pumas in the campaign opener on Wednesday, October 2, before going head-to-head with Super Rugby outfit Western Force on Sunday, October 6.

Easterby's side will then conclude the Tour against Currie Cup champions the Cheetahs on Wednesday, October 9, with all matches being played at Bloemfontein Stadium.

"We are delighted to confirm details of a second Emerging Ireland Tour to South Africa later this year, the value of which cannot be understated.

"This short three-match window will once again provide an opportunity for players within the system to come into a National Team environment, work with the National Team coaches, and access meaningful game time in a green jersey.

"Ahead of a busy four-match Nations Series in November, it is important we continue to broaden our selection pool and ensure young players are given every opportunity to further develop and gain an understanding of what is required to perform for Ireland at the highest level," said Easterby.

"The 2022 Tour was of huge value, as evidenced by the cohort of players who have come through and been capped at Test level for Ireland since.

"It will be a short preparation window leading into three tough matches but that is part of the challenge for the whole group, building connections and getting up to speed to meet the demands of playing in a green jersey."

Emerging Ireland Tour:

Wednesday, October 2: Emerging Ireland v Pumas
Sunday, October 6: Emerging Ireland v Western Force
Wednesday, October 9: Emerging Ireland v The Cheetahs