Tuesday 24 September 2019

'They call today the captain's run, it was more Joey's run' - Ruddock backing Carbery to shine after vocal session

17 November 2017; Joey Carbery during the Ireland rugby captain's run at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
17 November 2017; Joey Carbery during the Ireland rugby captain's run at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Ruaidhri O’Connor

Rhys Ruddock has backed Joey Carbery to thrive in the out-half’s jersey against Fiji tomorrow.

The Leinster young gun will lead the backline in front of a full-house at the Aviva Stadium and his captain has full confidence in his ability to run the show.

Indeed, he said the 22-year-old had already begun taking a leadership role at this morning’s Captain’s Run at the stadium.

“We've got a massive amount of faith in him,” Ruddock said.

“In training he runs rings around me, he's a quality player, and the leadership he's shown this week. It's tough to fill Johnny's shoes but they call today the captain's run, it was more Joey's run. He can galvanise the players and show what he can get out of the players.

“It's to the credit of Joey and Marmion, the guys who will put the shape on what we do. He's just composed and making sure everyone's clear with what we're doing.

“That transcends through the group. It’s very tough, but that's the job of the 10.

Ruddock thinks that Carbery has benefited from working with a world class out-half like Johnny Sexton.

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"He's been exposed to training alongside and with some of the best players in that position," he said.

"He's developed into a superb player himself. Credit to him with the work he's done and learned fast.

“We've got to be able to live at that level week in week out, even despite the much-changed team. That's going to be tough, but that's our job as professionals.

“Hopefully we've done enough in our preparation and we can go out there and get the job done.”

Ruddock takes over the captaincy from Rory Best, having led the side in all three games of the summer tour.

“It's a massive honour,” he said.

“To captain the side in the summer was huge. It's something I'm very proud of and will always look back on fondly, so to get a chance to captain in the Aviva, a sold-out Aviva as well, with and see guys getting their first cap, first opportunities and be a part of helping them through that journey, I'm really excited.

“Nervous at the same time because of the intensity and quality of the opponent we'll come up against. “We'll be made to fight for it, but that makes it more exciting.

“Sometimes it's easier to just have the one position you know you're on from the start and know what your job is and just concentrate on that.

“The captaincy adds another dimension, but I've got to do my own job, focus on the performance and lead by example.”

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