The Ringer

Schmidt backs 'confident and ready' Ringrose to shine on Test debut

The 21-year-old will win his first Test cap outside of Ulster’s Luke Marshall.

Updated 16.00

IRELAND HEAD COACH Joe Schmidt believes Garry Ringrose is a natural talent ready to shine on the international stage.

Ringrose will win his first international cap against Canada on Saturday (KO 19.15) after being an unused replacement in last weekend’s historic first win over New Zealand.

“Our greatest fear  was someone getting injured early in the match and one of those guys (Ringrose and Joey Carbery) having to play 70 minutes,” Schmidt said in Carton House today.

The 21-year-old has gone from strength to strength in his 29 appearances for Leinster since making his provincial debut at the beginning of last season. The Blackrock product will start alongside Ulster’s Luke Marshall in an all new starting XV.

“With Garry there’s a bit of experience either side of him, so it’s a nice entry into the Test arena.

“I think Garry is a really natural player. He sees things and he’s very ahead of the game because he reads the game early.

“While being lean, he’s strong. It allows him to just avoid those full contacts and slip past players or slip half through a tackle and still get over the gainline.

“At the same time defensively, being as astute as he is, we’re hoping that allows him to control a little bit of what they’re trying to do to us.”

A general view of Garry Ringrose's Ireland jersey ahead of the game Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

“He was really close to playing last week,” began the head coach.

“He’s trained really well, he’s given us confidence that’s he’s ready and I don’t doubt that he’s confident and wants to get started. It’s an exciting day for him come Saturday.”

Originally published 13.55

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