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Dominic Ryan 'greedy' in the hunt for more international opportunities

The flanker is targeting the Ospreys as the first step towards the Six Nations.

DOMINIC RYAN WAS letting his inner Gordon Gekko loose in UCD yesterday with the mantra greed is good.

The Leinster flanker was a surprise call-up to Joe Schmidt’s squad for the November internationals last month. He wanted more.

10 days ago he won his first cap in the convincing victory over Georgia – still not enough.

A general view of Dominic Ryan's jersey Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“If you get a sniff of something – and have it as a goal to play for Ireland in November – then you get in to camp and you get greedy when you’re not picked in the first Test match.

“Then I played against Georgia and it’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.You get greedy and I wanted more. I wasn’t involved against Australia there; [I'm] disappointed but there’s more to come now in the Six Nations.”

It’s a positive, forward-thinking outlook from the 24-year-old hoping to make his 10th provincial appearance of the season when the Ospreys come calling to the RDS this weekend. It’s a fixture that has built up an all-too-rare rivalry between sides Pro12 sides not hailing from the same country.

“If there’s any team in the league that can beat us at home, they seem to know how to do it. We don’t have a great record against them at home and particularly with our bad performance last weekend we’re not in the best place we can be, but that’s why we’ve got a few days to get that right.”

Dominic Ryan tackled by Craig Mitchell and Marti Holah 28/11/2010 Ryan breaks through tackles from Craig Mitchell and Marty Holah in 2010. Source: Huw Evans Agency

He added: “I think because they’ve got a few results here against us, maybe in the back of their mind they know they’ve done it before, they can do it again. In the Rabo final here [in 2012] that was a gutting day. They got a draw with us last season and beat us over there.

“When you go somewhere that you’ve won before, in the back of your head you know you can do it. And maybe going into an away fixture isn’t as daunting as it should be.”

While Ryan is hopeful of furthering his case for more international caps over the coming month, he is aware of the competition increasing around him. That includes the same men who kept him from the showpiece internationals this month, but also Jordi Murphy who is returning from injury. As Ryan is keen to remind us however, winning a place back in the team involves more than just returning to fitness.

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Mental

“It’s a tough time of the season coming back because you can do a lot of things from a physical conditioning point of view in the gym, but there’s a lot of mental conditioning that’s hard to do outside of a match environment.

“Physically he’s in great condition, but – not [Murphy] in particular – any player coming back from a long-term injury, it’s the mental side of match fitness that can lack. It is a really important time of the season; he’s a quality player and played several times for Ireland, but it might take him a game or two to get back in to the swing of things.”

Dominic Ryan Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Ryan is greedy now, not content to step aside and let Murphy take over and determined to make his time in the blue of Leinster count for more in the green.

“We’re coming in to three big weeks now with Ospreys and back-to-back Champions Cup games. If I can just play well enough to start in those and then follow on into January, two more games and the selections for the Six Nations will be made on that.

“It’s important to target games individually and set small individual goals which will build towards a bigger overall goal.”

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