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Munster's Heineken Cup-winning coach has had three months to bed himself into the Irish job, including a watching brief on the summer tour to New Zealand and Australia.
But his first real training stint with the Ireland players has shown what a tough task adapting to the ELVs could prove to be.
Kidney said: “It's difficult really because the matches in June were played under the old laws. The Tri-Nations is been played under the new laws plus another few - where everything is going to penalties and free-kicks.
“So it has been a little bit difficult to judge that when you know it's going to be a little bit different for us from August 1.
“A lot of the free-kicks that are being given now will be full-on penalties. At the moment it's tap-and-go or take a scrum.
“The lineouts could come back into vogue a bit more than they are in the Tri-Nations at the moment, where there seem to be probably more scrums than there are lineouts statistically, which is a bit of a change from what we had.
“I suppose we won't fully know it, and that's why it will be important to get the players in on games from the start of the season this year, just to find their way themselves.”
The camp has also seen the new Ireland coaching staff get together for the first time - with recently-announced backs coach Alan Gaffney and kicking coach Mark Tainton joining Kidney, team manager Paul McNaughton, forwards coach Gert Smal and defence coach Les Kiss in a formidable-looking line-up.
With a busy November international period to come - Canada, New Zealand and Argentina are all visiting Ireland in the autumn - the Irish coaches are eager to put the ELV issue to bed early, and that means an improvement in fitness and kicking skills.
“The fitness standards need to be upped a bit,” Kidney added.
“With the ELVs, the passages of play are just going on for so much longer. I think there was one Super 14 game that went to six minutes at the very start, whereas before a three-minute phase would have been very long.
“I'd say we can expect three, four or five of those in a game now. A few more two-minute phases and that's going to put its own demands on players too, but it's only perception.
“Everybody is saying that the ball is in play more, but the fact that it's in play might not mean it is being run with ball in hand.
“There seems to be a lot more kicking than there was before, and that is why Mark (Tainton) has been out and about with the players over the last three or four weeks.
“That's a skill we are going to have to improve on, and it won't be good enough that just one or two guys are going to be able to kick the ball in the coming season.
“I think it is going to take four, five maybe six guys to take the ball the length of the field.”
Overall, the Corkman has been pleased with his first week in Irish rugby's hotseat, insisting that the reaction from the players has been very encouraging.
Kidney said: “It's been great really. It's been a bit nerve-wracking, just trying to get everything right and trying to get things off to a good start.
“The players have come in well. We invited 45 players in, so we have 40 of those in and they have all been working hard.
“We have been trying to get a balance between the provincial pre-season, which is everybody's pre-season really because it has been a little bit shortened this year.
“We've been just trying to get a balance between the rugby and the conditional work and it's working out well.”