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Andy Farrell is unlikely to travel to South Africa on Emerging Ireland tour

Defence coach Easterby will lead the tour along with his fellow senior assistants Paul O’Connell, Mike Catt and John Fogarty.

Ireland's head coach Andy Farrell. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE

Cian TraceyIndependent.ie

Andy Farrell is unlikely to travel to South Africa on the Emerging Ireland tour later this month, with the head coach set to pass the responsibility to Simon Easterby.

The IRFU have confirmed that a young 35-man squad will take on three South African Currie Cup teams, the Griquas, Pumas and Cheetahs, across a nine-day period in Bloemfontein.

Although Farrell will be heavily involved in the planning and selection side of things, the IRFU and the Ireland boss see the tour as a good development opportunity for the wider coaching group.

Defence coach Easterby will lead the tour along with his fellow senior assistants Paul O’Connell, Mike Catt and John Fogarty.

Some players who featured in the two recent Maori All Blacks games in New Zealand are in line for the Emerging Ireland tour, while the squad is also set to include a plethora of less experienced players, who will get their first taste of international camp.

Although the three games in South Africa will clash with the provinces’ URC schedule, the front-line Ireland stars are expected to be available for selection for the start of the league season.

The Emerging Ireland squad will be confirmed shortly before departure later this month, with provincial coaches fully across those who are being considered.


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