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Rhys Ruddock has been training the house down

Stuart Lancaster and Leinster’s strength and conditioning team have been impressed by Ruddock’s improvement ahead of the Champions Cup clash with Saracens.

Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

HE’S BEEN OUT of action since helping Leinster towards an away win over Exeter Chiefs in December, but Rhys Ruddock has been going above and beyond in a bid to tackle Premiership opposition again this weekend, according to Stuart Lancaster.

Leinster’s senior coach has been hugely impressed with the numbers Ruddock has posted in recent weeks after rehabbing a serious hamstring injury.

So although the versatile back row has no match minutes under his belt, Lancaster sounds ready to put Ruddock to work against Saracens in the Aviva Stadium for this Sunday’s Champions Cup quarter-final.

“He’s passed all the markers,” said Lancaster, ”not just passed them, but he’s flown past them.

“He’s done one of the best fitness tests that we’ve ever had from a forward, he is faster on the GPS than he has been before.

“He has done brilliantly to get back and credit to, not just him, but the S&C and medical staff for turning it around. It’s a real bonus to have him back training today.”

Rhys Ruddock leaves the field due to injury Ruddock helped off at Sandy Park in December. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Though Jack Conan wasn’t among those training yesterday, he is also in the mix for selection if he can prove his readiness for action in UCD. So too is Sean O’Brien, approaching fitness again after a scare restricted him to just 27 minutes of action on his return from a shoulder injury against Scarlets early this month.

“Seanie has done really well to get himself back into this position, because at the time we thought it was a bit more serious, a bit longer-term than it hopefully will be. Train (Monday), see how we go Wednesday.”

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Sean Farrell

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