Rhys Ruddock has been called up to Ireland’s Rugby World Cup squad in place of the injured Peter O’Mahony.
Rhys Ruddock will join up with the Ireland camp at their team base in Cardiff later today as preparations begin for next Sunday’s quarter-final clash with Argentina.
The former Ireland Under-20 captain missed out on the build-up to the tournament after fracturing his right forearm while playing for Emerging Ireland in June’s Tbilisi Cup against Uruguay.
It was his second arm injury, following an initial fracture against Harlequins last December, but Ruddock diligently worked his way back to full fitness on both occasions and returned for Leinster last week against the Dragons.
He played the full 80 minutes of their GUINNESS PRO12 win over the Welsh side at the RDS. Interviewed for the match programme, he said: “I’ve yet to see what benefit you get from beating yourself up over something. Of course it’s a setback (the recurrence of an injury), but I would prefer to focus on the opportunity.
“Certainly, as I have neared a return-to-play date over the last four to six weeks and I can see a clear light at the end of the tunnel, I’m getting more and more excited.
“Would I love to be in England at the World Cup? Yes, but it’s the same with any game to be honest with Leinster or Ireland that you’re not involved with.
“That wasn’t to be, so instead I’ll focus everything I have into this game on Saturday and then a huge season with Leinster. You never know what’s around the corner but I feel great, the arm feels good and I just can’t wait to get playing again.”
Ruddock has five Ireland caps to date having made his debut against Australia in June 2010 when he was called up from the Ireland U-20 squad.
The 24-year-old featured against Italy and Argentina in 2014 and was a key presence in the GUINNESS Series last season, scoring a memorable try against South Africa and making starts at openside flanker against the ‘Boks and Wallabies.