Tuesday 13 November 2018

Racing 92 coach praises Donnacha Ryan for bringing 'vital edge from Ireland' ahead of Champions Cup decider

Donnacha Ryan during the Racing 92 Press Conference at San Mames Stadium, in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Donnacha Ryan during the Racing 92 Press Conference at San Mames Stadium, in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

Racing 92 coach Laurent Travers has hailed the impact of former Munster man Donnacha Ryan as his side bid to win their first European title at the expense of Leinster.

And Ryan insists that he won't be distracted by the prospect of getting one over his one-time Irish rivals.

“Donnacha has given us a lot of ideas that have helped us in important games this season, he has brought us a vital edge from Ireland,” said Travers.

Nenagh-born lock Ryan said: “It's always difficult playing against Leinster. We usually play them in the rain! They have a lot of players from the Grand Slam team and it will be a massive challenge for us.

“I came over here for a new experience and a new challenge. I needed to prove myself to the players and coaches when I arrived here.

“It's been different for me, I wouldn't like that level of scrutiny normally. I try to focus on my game. But it's good that Irish people are following the progress of Irish players in France.

“I've learned that there are always different ways of doing things. Every day is a school day, there are so many different cultures in the group and dynamics and it's interesting.

“I don't do the flashy stuff, I let Leonie Nakawara do all that. Mauling and tackling are my strengths. I do a lot of analysis as well. It's about trying to bring a different perspective.

“It's a nice experience for me and I'm learning the language slowly! My experience of playing big games with Munster and Ireland allows me to focus on the process and the job in hand.

“I can detach the emotions from the performance. Tomorrow, there should be no problem reaching the level of intensity I need to.

"I always try to be my best and my role is on the pitch to make other players perform at their best.

"It's been a massive effort all season and we produced really huge performances to get this far.

"And we know we will need another one tomorrow.”

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