With Leinster heading into a fourth Guinness PRO12 match under its new coaching team, and with the World Cup heading into its final stages, newly installed Leinster backs coach Girvan Dempsey spoke about the rugby philosophy of the coaching team and the challenge of reintegrating international players back into the provincial environment.

With Ireland’s interest in the Rugby World Cup stretching into the third weekend of October (and hopefully beyond), the Leinster coaching team will have to wait a few more weeks until they begin to reintegrate the 19 players now away at the tournament.

Ideally, all of those players will be participating in the final in Twickenham on 31st October, and if that’s the case then there won’t be much time to prepare for the games against Scarlets in the RDS on 6th November and the first European Champions Cup game at home to Wasps on 15th November.

It will be a challenge, but it’s one which Girvan Dempsey is looking forward to tackling along with the rest of the Leinster coaching team.

“I think the big thing is the integration, I think that’s always a challenge no matter when the international players are away. You’re trying to up-skill those guys as quickly as possible into the new calls and set-ups and structures. Hopefully it won’t be for another three weeks or so, at least. That will be a challenge.”

Girvan Dempsey Kurt McQuilkin

When those players do return, they will be coming into an environment with a very clear identity and philosophy around how the team should play.

“I think when you look at the way we’re playing the game, thankfully all the four coaches – Leo (Cullen), Kurt McQuilkin, John Fogarty and myself – have a very similar vision of how we want the game to be played.

“It’s very much based on really good defence by Kurt, then trying to get a good solid set piece from Leo and Fogs (Fogarty), along with the way I want the game to be played in terms of attacking style. Obviously we adapt that depending on conditions.

“I think we have a clear vision of the Leinster Way and how we grew up playing the game with Leinster and how we want Leinster to play. I think all the players are excited by it. It’s up to us now to deliver on that.”

Girvan Dempsey

During this World Cup period several young players have stepped up to represent Leinster, with many making debuts, scoring their first senior tries or making a first appearance at the RDS Arena.

For Dempsey, who has just left the role of Academy Manager to become backs coach with the senior squad, seeing these young men step up to the next level and not just survive but thrive has been especially pleasing.

“It’s so pleasing, as a coach, to see those guys come through the age grade, into the Academy and now progressing up into PRO12. Obviously opportunities are limited when international players are around, but now when the opportunity is there, to see them grasp it through the first three rounds of the PRO12 has been very satisfying from my point of view.”

Leinster face Scarlets in the Guinness PRO12 on Friday, 16th October, in Parc y Scarlets, then return to the RDS Arena the following week to face Glasgow Warriors.

Tickets for Leinster v Glasgow Warriors are on sale now.

Leinster v Glasgow Warriors