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Joe Schmidt Explains ROG's Involvement With Ireland This Summer

Joe Schmidt Explains ROG's Involvement With Ireland This Summer
By PJ Browne Updated
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While the Lions are battling the All Blacks this summer, Ireland will be on a tour of the USA and Japan.

They play the US in New Jersey on June 10th and then two games against Japan on June 17th and 24th.

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On tour with Ireland, for part of it at least, will be Ronan O'Gara.

Speaking to RTÉ Sunday Sport, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said that the Racing 92 coach will be doing some skills work with the team.

I've had a lot of conversations with Ronan over the years really and especially with him being in France and my experiences over there. We've conversed often on what's happening over there and a little bit about what's happening here.

He's indicated that he be keen to get into the environment and just have a bit of a look. So we are going to put him to work and he is going to do some skills coach work for us.

O'Gara will be one of three coaches brought in to work with the team, the other two being Leinster's Girvan Dempsey and Munster's Felix Jones.

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As is Girvan Dempsey who is I think growing in confidence all the time in his role in Leinster and the same with Felix Jones, who I think has made a really positive impression under Rassie Erasmus in Munster.

I think they are three outstanding young men who have fantastic potential to be coaching in this country.

We want to try to get the best out of them on tour albeit wanting to give them all an opportunity so they are kind of overlapping with each other for the best part of 8-10 days the first one and then 7-9 days for the other two.

Schmidt said he believes O'Gara, Dempsey and Jones will bring a 'spark' to the group.

I am really looking forward to working with them. I have obviously worked with Girv before and I have worked with Felix in a coach/player relationship and he was superb to coach as a player and I have known Ronan for a long time so I think they will add a bit of a spark to the coaching group.

Watch: Bundee Aki's Cryptic Answer To Question Asking If He Will Play For Ireland

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