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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019

'It's another opportunity to invest in Garry Ringrose': Schmidt signals long-term faith in young centre

The Leinster tyro will start his first senior match in the 12 jersey against the Wallabies.

Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

IRELAND HEAD COACH Joe Schmidt says Garry Ringrose’s performance against the All Blacks earned him a starting berth for Saturday’s November series closer against the Wallabies.

Robbie Henshaw’s early concussion against New Zealand left Ringrose at inside centre for the majority of last weekend’s defeat. The Leinster tyro has been retained there ahead of Luke Marshall, Stuart Olding and Rory Scannell despite having never started in the 12 jersey at senior level.

“He gets to play inside Jared Payne. It’s another learning experience,” Schmidt said at Carton House today, “another real experience to step up against Reece Hodge and Tevita Kuridrani. It’s a massive ask for him, they’re both very big men.”

The head coach added: ”It’s really a reflection on his performance last week. Garry stepped in and did incredibly well. He managed to get himself in the top three tacklers in the game, which is a fair reflection of the effort he made.

“He also slipped a couple of tackles and got one line-break and almost got another couple.

“It’s another opportunity to invest in Garry. We’ve had him in camp for a year and a half at differrent points, so he’s been a bit of a long-term investment which we want to take this opportunnity to develop a bit further.”

Garry Ringrose Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Among the other three changes to the team to face the Wallabies was the ommission of Donnacha Ryan from the matchday 23. The Kiwi coach put the decision down to fatigue as Iain Henderson fills the slot beside Devin Toner with Ultan Dillane moving on to the bench.

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Sean Farrell

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