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Kiss impressed with 19-year-old Ringrose's training stint in Ireland camp

The UCD centre provided injury cover at Carton House last week, where he underlined his potential.

Ringrose was superb for the Ireland U20s at last summer's JWC.
Ringrose was superb for the Ireland U20s at last summer's JWC.
Image: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

THE IRELAND SQUAD were impressed by 19-year-old Garry Ringrose during the centre’s stint in the national team camp last week.

With a number of injuries affecting Joe Schmidt’s original 37-man group for the November Tests, Ringrose joined the likes of Andrew Conway and Darragh Fanning in providing training cover at Carton House.

Ringrose was nominated for the IRB Junior Player of the Year last summer after a string of excellent performances at the 2014 Junior World Championship in New Zealand, where the UCD man scored three tries.

This afternoon, Les Kiss and Tommy Bowe both spoke positively about the youngster’s brief stint in camp, while Paul O’Connell shared similar sentiments with The Sunday Times recently.

With all four provinces preparing for games over the course of last weekend, Ireland assistant coach Kiss explained that the decision to involve Ringrose ensured less disruption for the provincial coaches.

That said, the Australian defence specialist also remarked on the outside centre’s potential:

“Every now and then we try to expose a couple of players to that training group. He went on the U20s World Cup earlier in the year and he was probably Player of the Tournament from an Irish perspective. It was just a great opportunity to bring him in and expose him.

Garry Ringrose scores a try Ringrose crosses for one of his three tries at JWC 2014. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“Sometimes you’re looking at managing the numbers also for the provinces for that last game, so we didn’t want to take all the numbers from the provinces. It’s about managing other players to be available for the provinces and an opportunity to bring him in and expose him to that level.

“And he did really well by the way, he’s an impressive young man.”

Ireland wing Tommy Bowe was equally enthusiastic about Ringrose’s performances in training, having seen little of the former Blackrock College student previously.

He looks a classy little player, plenty of confidence,” said Bowe. “I spoke to a few of the Leinster lads about him – they really think he could be the real deal. I thought that he came in and did a great job.

“It’s always intimidating. Whenever I came in first of all I found it very intimidating with all these senior players about, but I thought he slotted in very well and looked the part.”

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With Ringrose still eligible for the Ireland U20s over the coming season and for next summer’s Junior World Championship in Italy, Kiss acknowledged that the midfielder has some development ahead of him.

Gary Ringrose scores a try Ringrose scored a long-range try for Blackrock in the 2013 Leinster Schools Senior Cup final. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The Ireland assistant is confident that Ringrose will physically fill out his 6ft 1ins frame, underlining that there are positive signs in terms of the player’s mindset.

“There’s a lot to learn still, without a doubt,” said Kiss. “Physically he’s got good height; with his frame you know you’re going to build good bulk on it without compromising his speed and agility.

It was interesting watching him in the camp – he walked around like he’d been there for a couple of camps. He’s a really level-headed young man. You don’t like to predict it that these guys are going to nail it in the future, but there’s an opportunity for him if he’s really committed to what he’s about.

“He’s got a great talent base, but every level you go up talent becomes less important than attitude, commitment and all those things. In that snapshot that I’ve seen him in the last 12 months, he’s certainly got that so it’s up to him where he goes in the future.

“But it does look bright.”

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