Scotland coach alerted to qualities of Jack Dempsey by shared Waratahs experience

Steve Tandy got an early insight into the capabilities of Jack Dempsey when he worked alongside him in Australia and the Scotland defence coach believes they have pulled off quite a coup by persuading him to switch allegiance.

Jack Dempsey was able to take part in Scotland training following his recovery from a rib injury. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Jack Dempsey was able to take part in Scotland training following his recovery from a rib injury. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

Dempsey, who was capped 14 times by the Wallabies before taking advantage of changes to World Rugby eligibility regulations and committing to Scotland, is recovering well from a rib injury and could feature against his former Test side at Murrayfield on Saturday. Tandy and Dempsey were at the New South Wales Waratahs together before both men headed north and the Scotland defence is well versed in the No 8’s dynamic style which has since flourished at Glasgow Warriors.

“He was just great to work with,” recalled Tandy. “He had a couple of injuries while I was there – a big hamstring injury – so he played a bit but was out for a long period. It was obviously great to work with the Aussie guys and Jack was one of these. Really engaging and just a really good rugby player. He’s been unbelievable for Glasgow and in the way he’s really taken to rugby in this hemisphere. He’s explosive and powerful so we’re really happy to have him part of our group.”

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Tandy acknowledged it would be “some story” if Dempsey was to make his Scotland debut against the country of his birth. He is able to make the switch thanks to a Scottish grandfather and the new rule which allows players to change sides if they have not played international rugby for three years.

“These events are massive and for Jack it will be maybe a little bit bigger than normal, but he’s played in big games before, and I think his form has been outstanding,” added Tandy. “With these boys now they focus on their own performance and what they can control, and I’m sure Jack will be no different if he does have an opportunity. We’re really excited to have Jack in our environment, and he’s going to add value and increase competition in an already really strong position for us.”

Tandy said that Dempsey came through a full training with Scotland on Tuesday.

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