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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 3 December 2020

Girvan Dempsey says Rhys Ruddock is fit and ready for the World Cup

Dempsey says Ruddock came through 80 minutes against the Dragons unscathed.

Ruddock made his return from injury a week ago.
Ruddock made his return from injury a week ago.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

IT SEEMS AN injury to Jack Conan prior to last week’s defeat of the Dragons may have played a big part in Rhys Ruddock’s call-up to the World Cup.

Ruddock made his return from arm surgery in the bonus point win at the RDS nine days ago, his first game for the province since last March.

And despite being named among the replacements for the meeting with the Welsh side, a small injury to Jack Conan just before kick-off meant that he was put into the game from the start.

Speaking prior to the player’s call-up to the squad this afternoon, Leinster backs coach Girvan Dempsey said that the player came through those 80 minutes with flying colours, and the performance had potentially put him in the frame to replace the injured Peter O’Mahony.

“Rhys went really well, I’d say he was delighted and we were all delighted because initially we hadn’t planned on him playing the full 80, so it was great to see.

“I was involved with him in the Emerging Ireland over the summer and to see him get the innocuous bang on the arm and have that setback and to get a further operation on it was gutting for him because he had obviously been looking to impress to try and get selection for the World cup squad.

“For him now, to be back fit and put in a performance like last weekend was great and I suppose he is potentially in the shop window.”

At the time of speaking, Dempsey and his Leinster colleagues had not received any contact from the IRFU about injury call-ups, but it was later announced Ruddock would replace O’Mahony and join the squad in Wales ahead of this weekend’s quarter final against Argentina.

And with Leinster set to travel to the table-topping Scarlets this weekend, Dempsey said while they’re delighted to see their players representing Ireland, the selfishness in the coaches might prefer if their phone didn’t ring.

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“They’re obviously assessing, players accessibility are getting scans and stuff, and having a medical review.

“You’d like to see guys go get those call-ups but with a sort of selfish point of view you want to have guys because we want to keep continuing to progress in the Pro12.”

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Neil Treacy

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