The Irish rugby team are on tour this summer with tests against the USA and Japan offering many young players the chance to establish themselves in the Irish setup with our key figures away for the Lions tour of New Zealand, but it will also present Ronan O'Gara with a chance to make an impression on the coaching side of things.
In fact, O'Gara has already made an impression as Joe Schmidt confirmed that the Munster legend will be involved this summer and sang his praises in an interview with RTÉ Radio 1 on Sunday evening.
I’ve had a lot of conversations with Ronan over the years, and especially with him being in France and my experiences over there.
We conversed often on what’s happening over there and a little bit of what’s happening here. He’s indicated that he’s keen to get into the environment just to get a bit of a look so we’re going to put him to work and he’s going to do some skills-coach work with us.
Also coming along to help out with the coaching side of things will be Girvan Dempsey and Felix Jones, and Schmict expressed his excitement at getting to work
Girvan Dempsey, who is I think, growing in confidence all the time in his role in Leinster, and the same with Felix Jones who has made a really positive impression under Rassie Erasmus and Munster.
I think they are three outstanding young men who have fantastic potential to be coaching in this country and we want to try and get the best out of them on tour. [We want] to give them all an opportunity so they are overlapping for the best past of eight to ten days the first one [O’Gara] and nine days for the other two.
I’m really looking forward to working with them. I’ve obviously worked with Girv before and I’ve worked with Felix in a coach-player relationship. He was superb to coach as a player.
The news is likely do go down well with Irish fans as it's always nice to see familiar faces involved in the backroom staff, and for the players it will also be a boost.
In terms of O'Gara's involvement, Joe Schmidt revealed that he will be on hand to help out with the young outhalves and skills coaching in general.
Basically the role will be skills and hopefully working with the young number 10s. Depending on who goes it could be a number of young players and as you know it's a position you get better with age.
It's important that their basic skills are good, especially their confidence levels are good. Hopefully I can pass on one or two learning tools and get to work with everybody.
It's good see O'Gara involved with Ireland, and on a weekend where Johnny Sexton has tipped him for big things in coaching, hopefully we can look forward to seeing his role with Ireland increase over the coming years.