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Locked out - rugby star Ryan won't get to vote

  

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James Ryan during Ireland Rugby squad training

James Ryan during Ireland Rugby squad training

SPORTSFILE

James Ryan during Ireland Rugby squad training

James Ryan was barely old enough to vote in the last general election four years ago, but he won't even get the chance to do so today.

His great-grandfather and namesake James was a founding member of Fianna Fáil and the Irish Volunteers in 1913, so the Ryan household is steeped in political history.

The 23-year-old lock has taken a keen interest in his family background from an early age, and is studying history and politics in UCD.

As much as the Ireland players speak about being in a bubble when they are in camp, there has been plenty of chat about today's election, - even if none of them will be able to have their say.

"No, no, we won't be able to (vote), and neither will any member of the staff," Ryan said because today will be dominated by the 2.15pm Six Nations showdown with Wales in the Aviva.

He added: "Did you watch the debate? There was a lot of barking at each other.

"The lads take an interest in that stuff, which I was actually a bit surprised by, especially some of the physios, Colm Fuller and Foxy (Keith Fox), and Willie Bennett, our massage therapist, they all have a keen interest in what's going on.

"But yeah, you might miss a bit of it with what's going on."

Come full-time this evening, Ryan will tune back into the race for the Dáil, but until then it is very much head down and focus on the sizeable task at hand.

Speaking about his breakthrough season two years ago, he said: "First thing in the morning I would have had a knot in my stomach. I used to hate the bus ride in into the stadium, but I've got a bit better at managing that."

Irish Independent