The Irish Rugby Football Union and Leinster Rugby are pleased to announce that former Ireland international and Leinster player Girvan Dempsey has been appointed to the role of Academy Manager for the current Heineken Cup Champions…

Dempsey, who has been involved with the province as a player from schools level right up to the professional ranks, has been working within the player development structures of the IRFU and Leinster Rugby since 2010 when he was appointed as an elite player development officer.

His role was specifically to work with emerging players graduating from schools and clubs into the senior representative level and worked closely with the former Leinster Academy Manager Colin McEntee, who was recently appointed as the IRFU High Performance Manager.

The IRFU centralised academy structure moved to individual provincial academies in 2003 with the Leinster academy one of the four IRFU supported academies that are in operation. Each academy is responsible for the delivery the IRFU elite player development programmes designed to produce suitably prepared players to enter the professional ranks.

Girvan Dempsey was effusive in his praise for the work already done in the province and his excitement at the challenge of the new role: “I’m very proud to be continuing my relationship with Leinster Rugby and especially to have the opportunity to work with the up and coming young players of Irish Rugby.

We have had much success in Leinster based on the number of players from our clubs and schools who have moved on to the professional ranks and hopefully we will be able to continue that and see more of them play for Leinster and hopefully earn selection for Ireland representative teams.

There are talented players in the province that are looking for that opportunity to progress their rugby careers and I’m looking forward to the challenge of providing that opportunity for them.”

IRFU High Performance Manager Colin McEntee said, “The IRFU elite pathways have always been a foundation template for the academies to work to in terms of developing players, but each of the provincial academies are certainly in tune to the needs of their respective local talent. The provincial academy system is a vital cog in the succession planning for Irish Rugby and as such they are doing a magnificent job of bringing the next level of players through. Girvan’s appointment is important in the continuity for the Leinster academy after having great success in his previous role and I am looking forward to continue to work with him.”

Leinster Rugby Chief Executive Mick Dawson added: “Girvan has been a role model for young players dating back to his own playing days when he was the epitome of professionalism. Since his appointment as Elite Player Development Officer, he has brought his skill set to the next crop of burgeoning talent and we believe that he will continue that fine work as Academy Manager. We are delighted that Girvan will continue his long association with his home province and we wish him well in his new role.”

IRFU Provincial Academy/Elite Player Managers:

Connacht – Nigel Carolan
Leinster – Girvan Dempsey
Munster – Peter Malone
Ulster – Allen Clarke