Saturday 20 January 2018

Ruddock on recovery trail as Lam adds to staff

Ruddock starred in Ireland’s wins over South Africa and Australia last November, but has spent most of 2015 on the sidelines
Ruddock starred in Ireland’s wins over South Africa and Australia last November, but has spent most of 2015 on the sidelines
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Rhys Ruddock could yet play a part in Ireland's World Cup as he nears a return to action.

The Leinster flanker was not selected in Joe Schmidt's original squad after breaking his arm for the second time when captaining Emerging Ireland against Uruguay last summer, but with Tommy O'Donnell out for the foreseeable future and the inexperienced Jack Conan on standby, he may be on Joe Schmidt's radar if any of the back-rows in his 31-man squad is ruled out.

Ruddock starred in Ireland's wins over South Africa and Australia last November, but has spent most of 2015 on the sidelines.

He won't play a part against Edinburgh as Leinster begin their Guinness Pro12 campaign this weekend, but could return against Cardiff on Saturday week.

New signing Mick Kearney will also miss the start of the campaign, while Marty Moore is in a race to play a part in the first two games and Ed Byrne will be out for an extended period after undergoing successful knee surgery.

The province have announced that tickets for their Champions Cup meeting with Toulon at the Aviva Stadium on December 19 will go on sale to season-ticket holders on September 17, with the general sale opening a week later.

Meanwhile, Connacht coach Pat Lam has handed former player Conor McPhillips the role of assistant attack coach for the coming season.

The former St Mary's back has been the province's head performance analyst for the past number of seasons and will juggle that role with his additional responsibilities alongside backs coach Andre Bell and skills coach Dave Ellis.

"He will still head up our analysis team but his role will also include helping me and the other coaches in structuring our team attack whilst also analysing the opponents' attack," Lam said.

Irish Independent

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