It is a very important day for five Irish uncapped players in New Jersey against the USA on Saturday night. Captain Rhys Ruddock is looking forward to seeing the new players display their abilities to the world.
The British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand has allowed Joe Schmidt to utilize the depths of Irish Rugby and he in turn has selected a vast array of youth. Jacob Stockdale makes his first international appearance starting on the wing. In addition to this, Connacht hooker Dave Heffernan, last year u-20 World Championship finalists Andrew Porter and James Ryan and Munster centre Rory Scannell are all named on the bench and will hope to earn their first cap. Furthermore, John Cooney, Kieran Treadwell and Rory O’Loughlin are in the extended panel and will hope to make the match day squad against Japan.
Joe Schmdit has been bold with selection process for the tour, leaving out experienced players such as Donnacha Ryan and instead opting for James Ryan who still has not made a professional appearance for Leinster. Rory Scannell has impressed all season and will relish the opportunity if called upon. Jacob Stockdale’s inclusion comes as a delight to Irish Rugby fans, he comes off the back of a tremendous season with Ulster scoring 45 points in 24 appearances for the province.
Furthermore, Tiernan O’Hallorans fine end of season form for Connacht sees him get the nod at fullback over Simon Zebo. O’Halloran who in many peoples opinions has not been treated fairly, will be itching to get out and make an impression to Joe Schmidt.
The I05th person to captain Ireland, Ruddock said in an interview that the experienced members of the squad are doing their utmost to make the younger faces feel welcome in the squad.
“If there’s ever a time where any of the more experienced guys like myself, or guys who have been in the environment a little bit more can offer any bit of advice or bring people along with you, that’s been done.”
Ruddock sings the uncapped players praises stating that they have all been highly impressive on tour.
“Hopefully it will be a special day for them. The way they have trained, the look every bit ready, I’m looking forward to seeing them out there”
Rhys Ruddock will certainly look to get the tour off to a winning start in New Jersey and hopefully we will see the new breed flourish.
Jamie Fraser, Pundit Arena