Thursday 19 April 2018

Joe Schmidt set to call up bolter Ryan for Ireland's summer tour

James Ryan of Leinster
James Ryan of Leinster
A former Ireland U-20 captain, James Ryan has huge potential with Schmidt a long term admirer. Photo: Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Rassie Erasmus has dropped a broad hint that Leinster second-row James Ryan will be among the players named by Joe Schmidt when he announces his squad for the summer tour today, writes Ruaidhri O'Connor.

Last year's Ireland U-20 captain has yet to play a senior match for his home province and missed most of this season with a serious hamstring injury, but he returned to action in the colours of Munster on Saturday as the province's Development side lined out against the Ireland U-20s.

Ryan has already penned a senior deal with Leinster, so an inter-provincial move was not on the cards and Erasmus explained that Schmidt played a part of the decision for the UCD starlet to switch sides for a day to prove his fitness for summer duty.

"It was just a request for him to get match fitness through Leinster and Joe Schmidt," the Munster coach said when asked if there was a move on the cards.

There's not another game where he could play before being able be selected and they just asked if he could play for us because we did have a friendly, if you could call it that, and we said yes, no problem."

Schmidt is expected to name a squad of around 31 for the three-match tour. Ireland face the United States on June 10 before taking on 2019 World Cup opponents Japan on home soil twice.

Ulster's Kieran Treadwell and Jacob Stockdale have been tipped to make the cut, while Ryan's U-20 team-mate Andrew Porter could also travel as Schmidt copes without his 11 Lions.

Irish Independent

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