Garry Ringrose links up with Schmidt's Ireland ahead of Wales clash

The 21-year-old Leinster centre has been called out to Carton House.

LEINSTER CENTRE GARRY Ringrose has been called to Carton House to train with Joe Schmidt’s Ireland today ahead of Sunday’s Six Nations opener against Wales.

Leinster’s Garry Ringrose Ringrose has played 11 times for Leinster this season. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

Luke Fitzgerald was yesterday ruled out of the entire Six Nations campaign after he suffered a knee injury during last week’s open training session at the Aviva Stadium.

Ringrose is not thought to be a permanent replacement for Fitzgerald in Ireland’s Six Nations squad at this point, but the experience of training with Schmidt’s men will be valuable nonetheless.

While the 21-year-old missed out on selection in Schmidt’s original 35-man squad for the Six Nations, it was always likely that he would be involved at Carton House in some capacity as he looks to build his experience.

Ringrose’s first involvement with Schmidt’s senior squad came in November 2014, when he spent a week with Ireland having impressed for the Ireland U20s at the previous summer’s Junior World Championships.

The former Blackrock College centre has trained with Ireland on a number of other occasions since and Schmidt last week stated he has tried to encourage the highly-promising midfielder “to be an extra part of the squad.”

Explaining Ringrose’s absence from his official Six Nations squad, Schmidt pointed out that Wales’ starting midfield this weekend will feature two massive physical specimens with a multitude more experience than the Leinster man.

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Garry Ringrose chased by Jack O'Donoghue Ringrose set up a gorgeous Leinster try against Munster in December. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“Is putting him in against 110 kilos of hurtling Jamie Roberts or the 104 kilos of footwork and fend that Jonathan Davies can deliver, or is it sitting in the squad and not playing, or is it him building that confidence that he’s started to demonstrate through the PRO12 and one European start?” said Schmidt.

This is a great window for him to get game time. It doesn’t mean we’re not investing in him. We’re investing in him because playing that PRO12 rugby is an opportunity for him to keep going.”

Ringrose has made 11 appearances for Leo Cullen’s Leinster, whose next Guinness Pro12 game takes place against Zebre on 12 February, the same weekend Schmidt’s Ireland will be in Paris to face France in round two of the Six Nations.

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