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28th Feb 2024

Garry Ringrose on the two Ireland prospects that impressed him most in training

Patrick McCarry

“They haven’t got me to do that yet!”

It is the down-week of another Six Nations campaign and Garry Ringrose is helping promote the benefits of milk for the National Dairy Council.

At the end of an engaging chat between Ringrose and a host of rugby writers, I ask if we might see any repeats of the famous Brian O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy post-match interviews that featured three Powerade bottles and a host of product placement, and thirst-quenching.

The Leinster and Ireland centre may need to be a bit more subtle than his predecessors but mention the words ‘milk’ or ‘nutrition’ to him and he will happily go for two minutes straight. There is a point of our chat when we all jumped straight into the rugby chat – injuries, comeback plans, URC, Frawley and McCloskey – when Ringrose went full NDC ambassador mode and hit his talking points. Keeping that backline in check before things got too loose.

When we got him back fielding our rugby questions, he was reminded of some lovely Brian O’Driscoll comments from his first times with the senior Ireland team. He also named two Leinster lads who caught his eye, in a similar manner.

Garry Ringrose
Garry Ringrose of Ireland after the World Cup Pool B match against South Africa, at Stade de France. (Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile)

Garry Ringrose on Sam Prendergast

During the 2023 Six Nations, we caught up with Leinster and Ireland legend Brian O’Driscoll and asked what young player stood out most, from his 15 years around the national team. Without missing a beat, O’Driscoll named Garry Ringrose.

“Immediately,” O’Driscoll told us, “you could see he got it – angles of running. Some of that is not a learned skill, it’s innately part of your rugby make-up and your understanding of how the game works.

“So when you do identify that in someone, it really stands them apart from their peers, and I thought that was so evident in Garry from very early on.”

10 years on, with Ringrose a double Grand Slam winner with Ireland and co-captain of Leinster, we asked him the same question. He pondered for a moment before replying:

“Sam Prendergast was in with us for the training camp in Portugal [in January] in that kind of apprentice role. He was really impressive. He was covering a bit of fullback, as well, in training and it wasn’t a bother to him. Then, when he slots in at 10, he is impressive there. He has that willingness to try and learn and that humbleness, knowing he wants to get better. At the same time, he can show some really cool bits of skill, under pressure, too. The stand-out thing is his willingness to learn and try figure things out.

“Jamie Osborne is pretty established now, but getting to work with him when he is at Leinster, and he has been in Ireland camp, has impressed me, too – for the same reasons as Sam. He is also impressive, physically, and imposes himself well. For Leinster, he took to playing in Europe so well. It wasn’t a bother to him; didn’t faze him. He was unreal, and had proper impacts on the game. You kind of forget how young he is, as he has already established himself so much. It is great to see him back fit and firing again.”

The pair have both been in Ireland camp with Andy Farrell’s side but have yet to make their Test debuts. It will be interesting to see if Farrell will select a few prospects like that pair, and a few others, to travel with the senior squad to South Africa, this summer.

Jamie Osborne, right, and Sam Prendergast of Leinster. (Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile)

Garry Ringrose on returning to action

Garry Ringrose missed all of Ireland’s games, so far, in the 2024 Six Nations but is hopeful to play any kind of role in the final matches, against England and Wales.

“It’s going well,” he said of his shoulder rehab. “It’s obviously been tough, missing out on being available for the last three games but the rehab is progressing well and I’m hoping all going well to be available for the last two games.

“We have this week, the timing of the second down week is probably good to give an extra few days to hopefully get it right. That’s the plan, to be available. 

“I’ve hurt that shoulder in the past but it was in the Leicester game [in January] where I picked up a couple of knocks on it,” Ringrose added. “I was able to play the game through and only flagged it with the medics afterwards.  

“It probably had some time for swelling and irritation to build up in the joint, and then a few things shut down that needed to get back firing again. Thankfully, the lads [medical team] have been all over it and helped me massively in the last couple of weeks and thankfully been able to stay in the environment with the guys and try and help where I can and train some weeks as well.  

“From that perspective, it’s gone really well hopefully this week it goes well and be available for the last two.”

Garry Ringrose
The National Dairy Council is delighted to continue working with Garry Ringrose as an ambassador in 2024. Like all athletes, Ringrose knows the important role that diet and nutrition plays in fuelling the body for success in training and on the pitch. “I am delighted to be working with NDC as an ambassador and to promote the significant benefits of Milk – nature’s sports drink.”

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