Monday 19 March 2018

Ruddock - Moran ready to step up to professional game

Tyrone Moran scores the winning try for Lansdowne during their victory against Clontarf
Tyrone Moran scores the winning try for Lansdowne during their victory against Clontarf
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

His try in the final play of the game in Lansdowne's semi-final win over Young Munster gave a timely reminder of his talent, but it was Tyrone Moran's all-round performance in last week's final that really saw him put his hand up in terms of earning a professional contract.

The 23-year-old spent the beginning of last season on trial with Leinster, but he failed to break through and instead focused on his club.

Such is the current talent pool in Irish rugby, Moran's situation is a common one and, like so many other young players, he knows that he may have to look abroad to fulfil his ambition of becoming a full-time professional.

His performances this season under Mike Ruddock in Lansdowne's AIL Division 1A-winning campaign won't have gone unnoticed.

"I was in there on a trial and I was really happy to get the chance, but there were six other hookers in there at the time," the former Blackrock College student said of his brief time with Leinster.


"You had Bryan Byrne, Aaron Dundon, Sean Cronin, Richardt Strauss and Sean McCarthy, so I was always going to lose out because I was on trial.

"I would love to find somewhere professional because that's what Mike Ruddock likes to do, he likes to promote us, get us out there to get noticed by those in the professional game and we'd love to see guys in our team move up the ranks.

"The aim is that we come in, put in a performance and move on. In 2013 (when Lansdowne had last won the league) there was massive turnover among the squad, so this is essentially a new team - we have a lot of academy boys out there and we'd like to see them move up," he added.

Lansdowne's rich history of making club players into professionals should stand to Moran as be bids to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Jordi Murphy and Marty Moore.

The hooker's performance was praised by Ruddock in the aftermath of their one-point win over Clontarf and he is adamant that he is primed for the professional game.


"He's a big, physical unit. His darts are generally very good and his scrummaging is strong as well," Ruddock commented.

"He's certainly one that could be looked at. He's got the physical size for the pro game, there's no doubt in my mind."

Having already impressed with the Ireland U-20s, Ruddock's reputation in Ireland continues to rise and Moran believes that it isn't a coincidence that so many players have gone on to the bigger stage under the Welshman's tutelage.

"The way he coaches is fantastic, he puts a system in place and lets us step into it. We do what we he wants us to do, but we just take so much pride in playing with the club," Moran remarked.

"We work during the day, we come down and train three nights a week usually. We train more like professionals and we've come real close together as a result."

The hope for Moran now is that he has impressed enough to earn himself at least another trial. Whether that will be in this country or abroad, remains to be seen.

Irish Independent

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