David Humphreys: 'It's an exciting opportunity for someone to step in place of Farrell'

David Humphreys: 'It's an exciting opportunity for someone to step in place of Farrell'

New IRFU Performance Director David Humphreys has claimed that there is an exciting opportunity for someone to put their hat into the ring for the role of the next Ireland boss, while current Ireland boss Andy Farrell takes temporary charge of the British and Irish Lions this summer.

Farrell will take a sabbatical from Ireland in order to lead the Lions in South Africa next summer. This means that someone will be in temporary charge while he fulfils his duties.

Defence coach Simon Easterby is the head coach for this October’s Emerging Ireland tour to South Africa and is a name that could replace Farrell on a temporary basis.

Humphreys, who has just replaced former IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora, says the discussion of when it will happen after the South Africa tour this summer.

“It’s a very exciting opportunity for someone to step in,” said Humphreys.

“You talk about coaching succession; this will give us a chance to bring someone else in at a very important time for the national team and test them in probably the highest-pressure environment in the Six Nations. Andy’s away for six months, but he’ll still be very much involved in the process of deciding who’s going to come in.

“After South Africa, we’re planning to sit down and look at how we’re going to run the next season.”

Andy Farrell, Head Coach of Ireland, looks on during the warm-up prior to the Guinness Six Nations 2024 match between France and Ireland at the Orange Velodrome on February 2, 2024, in Marseille, France. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) )

Easterby could be in contention, as already mentioned, while Paul O'Connell, another member of Farrell's coaching staff, could also be considered. The IRFU Director has also said that the IRFU could look to the provinces for temporary help if they need another member of staff.

“That will be part of the discussion, of course,” said Humphreys. “Once we know who’s coming in to fill Andy’s shoes on an interim basis, we’ll then look at the overall makeup of the coaching team. If that requires some other expertise, we’ll work on whether that comes from within or outside.

“That’s a decision for a few months’ time.”

Ireland's first Test against the Boks will be on Saturday, July 6, in Pretoria. Then they will head to Durban for the second and final test on Saturday, July 13.

Sky Sports will show both tests in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Ireland Squad: Summer Tour 2024:



Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster) 20
Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht) 40
Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster) 50
Caelan Doris (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 41
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 76
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 129
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 39
Cormac Izuchukwu (Ulster/Ballynahinch)
Oli Jager (Munster) 1
Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster): 31
Joe McCarthy (Dublin University/Leinster) 10
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) (captain) 105
Tom O’Toole (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 13
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 64
Cian Prendergast (UCD/Connacht) 3
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 62
Dan Sheehan (Lansdowne/Leinster) 26
Nick Timoney (Banbridge/Ulster) 3
Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 62


Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 56
Caolin Blade (Galwegians/Connacht) 2
Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster) 14
Jack Crowley (Cork Constitution/Munster) 14
Ciaran Frawley (UCD/Leinster) 4
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 72
Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 32
James Lowe (Leinster): 31
Stuart McCloskey (Bangor/Ulster) 17
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 116
Calvin Nash (Young Munster/Munster) 6
Jimmy O’Brien (Naas/Leinster) 8
Jamie Osborne (Naas/Leinster)
Sam Prendergast (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster): 58
Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster) 37

* denotes uncapped player

Unavailable: Jamison Gibson-Park (hamstring injury) and Jack Conan (personal reasons).

Summer Tour 2024 Fixtures:

  • Saturday, July 6: South Africa vs. Ireland, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria (5pm local time/4 p.m. Irish time)
  • Saturday, July 13: South Africa vs. Ireland, Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban (5pm local time/4 p.m. Irish time).