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Tommy O'Donnell ruled out injured as Ruddock appointed Ireland captain for summer tour

Ulster’s Sean Reidy will replace the Munster man once the squad get to Japan for the second and third matches of their tour.

LEINSTER BACK ROW Rhys Ruddock has been appointed captain for Ireland’s summer tour of the USA and Japan with Rory Best with the Lions and vice captain Jamie Heaslip injured.

Rhys Ruddock Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The 26-year-old made his Test debut under Declan Kidney on the 2010 summer tour, earning a call-up directly from U20 duty to the senior side.

Ruddock has long been viewed as a viable leader by his coaches and he has captained Leinster numerous times, despite enduring more than his fair share of injury trouble.

“Rhys has been in the squad for a long time. He’s had a few injuries and therefore missed out,” Schmidt said at Carton House today.

“He was one of the guys who came to South Africa last year and led by example. He captained Leinster while I was there, so I know he can do the job first hand and he has a fair measure of respect from his fellow players. They’re all pretty good reasons to have him involved.

Tommy O’Donnell dejected Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“It’s a very young group and some of the guys who’ve led the team – Rory, Jamie, Peter O’Mahony. I think four years ago, Peter O’Mahony was the guy who led the tour so it’s time for the mantle to be handed on for this tour. Rhys is an ideal candidate.”

Schmidt meanwhile confirmed that Tommy O’Donnell will miss out on the trip due to an ankle injury. The injury is expected to sideline the openside for around four weeks, so he should be recovered in time for Munster’s pre-season.

Ulster’s Sean Reidy, who is currently in New Zealand, will join the squad as O’Donnell’s replacement when they reach Japan, meaning he will miss the clash with USA.

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Sean Farrell

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