Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Kiss pays tribute to McFadden

Fergus McFadden, pictured, caught Les Kiss' eye with a hat-trick
Fergus McFadden, pictured, caught Les Kiss' eye with a hat-trick

Ireland interim coach Les Kiss paid tribute to hat-trick hero Fergus McFadden after his crucial role in the tourists' 40-14 win over Canada in Toronto.

The Leinster winger scored three of his side's six tries to end a difficult international season on a high. The Australian hands over to incoming coach Joe Schmidt on conclusion of a successful tour that saw the tourists struggle to a win in difficult conditions in Houston before romping home against Canada.

McFadden played a part in Andrew Trimble's opening try, before crossing for three of his own. He has been in and out of the international set-up all season, but Kiss believes he put his hand up for future selection with a big display. Kiss said: "Fergus is just one of those players you want to have around your team. He is such a great character."

Kiss added: "What he brings to a team in terms of energy and enthusiasm is sensational. If he doesn't get selected he is still the same person. He has an uncanny ability to score tries at international level.

"Last week he shipped an injury in the game and he toughed his way through it. He trained through a bit of injury this week and got a knock in the game again but just keeps powering on. I can't speak highly enough about him and the way he played."

Kiss could reflect with pride on a tour that has seen Ireland blood six new caps, including try scorer Tommy O'Donnell.

"Without a doubt we found out a little about ourselves as players," he said.

"From a coaching perspective it was certainly encouraging on a lot of fronts. Sometimes the perception is you can come and get these tier two nations and run it away easily but they were both tough affairs.

"I think it was the 54th minute it was 14-12. We had to find something, keep our composure and again fantastic leadership through Peter (O'Mahony). It pulled us through to a place where we could have the intent to attack as much as we can. And that ended up getting the tries for us.

"(There were) six new caps and guys have learnt a lot about themselves. I think it has been a really good tour in that respect."

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