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Dublin: 4°C Thursday 13 May 2021
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'Huge honour' as 24-year-old Ryan takes Ireland captaincy for England Test

The Leinster lock signalled he will lean on experienced heads like Peter O’Mahony and Keith Earls.

Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

JAMES RYAN WILL start his 30th international for Ireland as captain.

The 24-year-old has long been ear-marked as a leader having skippered Ireland U20s after his schooldays. But following a stint as captain in the wake of Jonathan Sexton’s injury last weekend, he will get the opportunity from the start in Twickenham this Saturday.

While Andy Farrell with not announce his team until tomorrow, with Sexton ruled out yesterday Ryan was put forward for today’s captain’s press conference from the IRFU’s training base in Abbottstown.

And the new captain signalled that he will be surrounded by experience to help him lead Ireland against the World Cup runners-up.

“Huge honour for me, looking forward to it,” said the Leinster lock.

“The great thing is i won’t be on my own. I’ll have Peter O’Mahony there Hendy (Iain Henderson), Keith Earls… huge amount of experience.

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He added: “Even when Johnny is captain we drive at the week as a collective. It’s the same this week, but having Pete, Hendy and Keith will make my job easier.”

After calling his appointment as skipper a ‘huge honour’, Ryan insisted that he will try to move it to the back of his mind to an extent as Ireland face into a tough Test against a side who have comfortably beaten Ireland three times on the trot.

“It’s the same for me as it is every week. I want to do my job effectively, not get side-tracked by captaincy stuff.”

“It was a good performance against Wales, this week is a big step up. We know we’ll have to be a lot better again.

“We’ll get a good look at where we’re at.”

- Originally published at 13.38

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