Dominic Ryan spoke this week about his experience of captaining Emerging Ireland in the IRB Nations Cup and gave his thoughts on Leinster’s GUINNESS PRO12 clash with Cardiff Blues on Friday.
The end of last season saw a few more pieces of silverware added to the mantlepiece in the Ryan household. Along with raising the British & Irish Cup trophy as captain of the Leinster ‘A’ team, Leinster back rower Dominic Ryan also captained Emerging Ireland to an IRB Nations Cup title in Romania.
Emerging Ireland registered wins over hosts Romania, Uruguay and Russia to lift the trophy, and Ryan says it was a valuable experience and a great way to bring the 2013/14 season to a close.
“That was great experience over there. I think we had a very good squad, so that obviously helped and then Dan McFarland’s an excellent coach. We finished the season on a high,” he told www.LeinsterRugby.ie.
The start of the new season has seen Ryan start all three of Leinster’s opening GUINNESS PRO12 fixtures and he is set to make it four in a row against Cardiff Blues on Friday.
The Welsh region started the current campaign with a bonus point win away to Zebre but have since lost their last two games at home against Glasgow Warriors and Ulster.
Cardiff trailed Ulster by three points at half-time but fell to a 26-9 defeat, failing to score in the second half. “They were within a score at half-time and were really in the game. I’d say they’re hurting being so close and losing at home,” admitted Ryan.
From a Leinster point of view, the 24-year-old forward says that maintaining the province’s unbeaten run at their RDS fortress is of the utmost importance.
“It’s very important, it’s a thing we pride ourselves on. We built the RDS into our ‘fortress’ and it’s very important to keep the home record there for us.”
And one player that will be looking to help Leinster stay undefeated at the RDS – a record which has stood since a loss to Ulster in March 2013 – is new recruit Kane Douglas, who is poised to make his provincial debut on Friday night.
Having trained with Douglas this week, Ryan says the squad can ‘already see his class’. “He takes the lineouts up so quickly. To see what he did this morning just from learning our whole lineout calling system over the weekend was very impressive. He’s a good addition to the squad.”