Search icon


11th Jun 2024

Emerging Ireland squad to head to South Africa for three-game tournament

Callum Boyle

Emerging Ireland

The tournaments begins in September

Some of Ireland’s best young talents will be heading to South Africa in September after the IRFU confirmed they would send an emerging squad to a three-game tournament in Bloemfontein.

They’ll be competing in the Toyota Challenge competition, the same one Emerging Ireland played in back in 2022, where the likes of  Jack Crowley, Calvin Nash and Joe McCarthy impressed before integration into the senior squad.

Ireland defence coach Simon Easterby will be given the role of head coach for the tour. He will be joined by Paul O’Connell, John Fogarty and Andrew Goodman.

Emerging Ireland will face Pumas in the campaign opener on Wednesday, October 2, before going head-to-head with Super Rugby outfit Western Force on Sunday, October 6. They finish by taking on defending Currie Cup champions the Cheetahs on Wednesday October 9.

“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,” Easterby said.

“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.”

Easterby for head coach role?

The appointment of Easterby as head coach of the Emerging Ireland squad has led to speculation that he will become the main man in charge when Andy Farrell departs to take on the role as head coach of the British and Lions tour.

With Farrell on Lions duty it’s widely expected that the former flanker will also be in charge for next year’s Six Nations campaign.

Related links:

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race 🤬 | Who will win the Premier League?