herald

Sunday 22 July 2018

Girv takes Bath as Henshaw is out

DEMPSEY: Set to join Bath. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
DEMPSEY: Set to join Bath. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

They say you should always strike when the iron is hot.

Girvan Dempsey's profile has never been higher as a young coach making his way in the game.

The 42-year-old backs coach will leave Leinster after 22 years of serving the province as a player or a coach to join forces with Premiership club Bath.

In one way, the writing was on the wall when the former Ireland full-back signed a one-year extension at the same time Stuart Lancaster committed for two.

"Girv' and I have been involved with Leinster and Ireland teams since 1997 and have shared many special memories together," stated coach Leo Cullen.

"The feeling we had together at the final whistle of Saturday's game was one that I will cherish forever."

For the moment, Dempsey will give his all as Leinster look to do what they couldn't in 2009, 2011 or 2012 - complete the double.

They will do so in the PRO14 semi-final without the assistance of Robbie Henshaw who will have his knee scanned this week.

The centre threw himself about with typical disregard for his physical preservation in Bilbao.

There were two heavy blows to the head as well as the heavy strapping to his knee.

There has to be concern that Ireland's summer tour to Australia could be on the line.

In addition, Jonathan Sexton looks a serious doubt to make it for the Munster game at The RDS on Saturday.

The out-half just tweaked his groin in taking a goal-kick and could be held in reserve.

This would give Cullen the choice between Joey Carbery, who was an unused replacement in the final, or Ross Byrne, their preferred alternative to Sexton all season.

The coaches have to decide between using all the frontline men available to them or rewarding some unlucky to lose out in Spain.

There are those, such as Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, James Ryan, Dan Leavy and Rob Kearney who could benefit from a week off.

The time has come for Cullen to show trust in his squad by freshening up his team.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News