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Ruddock emerges from broken season

Rhys Ruddock is the standout name in the Emerging Ireland Squad to take part in the Tblisi Cup next month.

The Leinster flanker has had a disheartening season, last playing for his province in March and for Ireland in November when he made a serious case to challenge, even unseat Peter O'Mahony for the Six Nations.

Sadly, a broken forearm has been the bane of his time since then.

Ruddock first suffered the break against Harlequins in The Champions Cup in December and had to have a follow-up operation when he experienced ongoing problems with the arm.

He needs game time and is ready to be let off the leash after missing out on the end to Leinster's season.

Coaches Allen Clarke and Girvan Dempsey have named a squad of 27 players to travel to Georgia.

"There are some exciting prospects in this Emerging Ireland squad," said Ireland coach Joe Schmidt.

"The Tbilisi Cup is an ideal challenge for them, especially as both Georgia and Uruguay will be using this tournament to springboard their Rugby World Cup campaigns."

Emerging Ireland Squad: S Archer (Munster), F Bealham, D Buckley (both Connacht), A Conway (Munster), J Cooney (Connacht), J Cronin (Munster), E Griffin (London Irish), JJ Hanrahan (Munster), M Healy, D Heffernan (both Connacht), R Herring (Ulster), B Holland (Munster), C Kelleher, D Leavy, B Marshall (all Leinster), E Masterson (Connacht), S McCloskey (Ulster), L McGrath (Leinster), E McKeon (Connacht), P Nelson (Ulster), T O'Halloran (Connacht), N Reid, R Ruddock (both Leinster), R Scannell (Munster), L Stevenson, F Taggart, A Warwick (all Ulster).