Click here for a profile of young Limerick-born scrum half Eoin Reddan, who is the only uncapped player named in the Ireland squad for Saturday week’s RBS 6 Nations clash with Italy.
…Eoin Reddan: the only uncapped player who has been named in Ireland’s 22-man squad for the RBS 6 Nations Championship opener against Italy on February 4…
Position: Scrum Half
Club: London Wasps
School; Crescent College Comprehensive, Limerick
Date of Birth: 20/11/1980
Height: 5ft 8in (172cm)
Weight: 12st 8lbs (80kg)
EOIN REDDAN’S rugby journey began when, as a 13-year-old, he took up the game at his local Old Crescent club in Limerick. He quickly became a noted scrum half on the provincial scene, earning caps for Munster at Schools and Under-19 level.
Reddan gained further recognition when he was capped for the Ireland Schools, Under-21 and Student representative sides, whilst shifting his studies from Crescent College to the University of Limerick.
AIB League experience followed with Young Munster and Old Crescent. Reddan then signed for Connacht in 2001. Two successful seasons later, he returned to his home province, signing a full-time contract with Munster. He made his competitive debut against Leinster in the Celtic League in September 2003.
However, with Peter Stringer the man firmly in charge of the number 9 jersey, Reddan found his chances limited despite making 27 league appearances over the course of two seasons for Munster. Ironically, Reddan was to be on the replacements bench for Munster’s agonising Heineken Cup semi-final defeat by his future employers Wasps at Lansdowne Road in April 2004.
Former Connacht and Ireland coach Warren Gatland, a long-time admirer of Reddan’s, lured the Limerick man to Wasps last season with his signature for the Guinness Premiership giants confirmed in June.
Since then, Reddan has performed consistently well for the English champions, starting 13 games under new director of rugby Ian McGeechan so far this season, notching three tries and enjoying a competitive rivalry with experienced England scrum half Matt Dawson.
His encouragining displays across the water earned him a call-up to the Ireland training squad for the RBS 6 Nations, and he now looks set for some involvement against Italy in the February 4 opener.
Commenting on Reddan’s inclusion in the 22-man squad for the Italian game, Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan said: “Eoin has a very balanced game. He’s an excellent passer. He threatens the fringe a lot and kicks very well.
“He jumped into a high pressure situation at Wasps and hit the ground running. Ian McGeechan called me and said Eoin was someone to watch. The fact he’s gone toe to toe with Matt Dawson, who is one of the best scrum halves in the world, and held his own also stands him in good stead.
“He’s a young player who has matured. He has a good package at half back and hasn’t been picked because he’s young, but because he’s good.”
…Eoin Reddan gets ready to pass out of a ruck during the Ireland squad training session on Tuesday…