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Ireland's Ringrose among nominees for IRB Junior Player of the Year

The 19-year-old centre has impressed at the Junior World Championships in New Zealand.

Ringrose attacks in the pool game against Fiji.
Ringrose attacks in the pool game against Fiji.
Image: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

IRELAND’S GARRY RINGROSE has been named on a four-man shortlist for the 2014 IRB Junior Player of the Year award.

The winner is set to be announced on Friday, following the final of the Junior World Championship between South Africa and England. Earlier that day, Ireland face New Zealand in the 3rd place play-off.

Outside centre Ringrose has been superb for Mike Ruddock’s U20 side in the competition so far, scoring tries against Wales [2] and England. His excellent footwork and pace have allowed the UCD man to be Ireland’s leading linebreaking threat in the backline.

Also a strong place-kicker, the former Blackrock student struck 11 points off the tee in the win over Fiji. Ringrose’s aggression in contact, work-rate and defensive solidity offer further encouragement that he can move into the senior professional game successfully.

Alongside the Irishman on the shortlist are South Africa’s Handré Pollard, New Zealand’s Tevita Li and Nathan Earle of England.

Out-half Pollard is playing in this third consecutive Junior World Championship and is this year’s leading points scorer with 55. The 20-year-old already has 10 Super Rugby appearances for the Blue Bulls on his CV and looks a certain future senior international.

Kiwi wing Tevita Li has shown his sensational individual attacking threat by running in five tries in this tournament. The 19-year-old powerhouse has started five Super Rugby games for the Blues, scoring three tries.

Garry Ringrose scores a try Ringrose scores against England in the semi-final defeat. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Earle has impressed in the wide channels for England, also dotting down five times. His scintillating try against Italy on the first day of the tournament is a clear highlight, but the Saracens wing has generally impressed with his energetic and ambitious attacking with ball in hand.

Ireland have never had a player win the IRB Junior Player of the Year award before, although JJ Hanrahan was a nominee for the 2012 version. Another strong outing against New Zealand could secure Ringrose the prestigious prize.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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