Ireland set to announce shock summer tour inclusion
Joe Schmidt is set to name a summer tour bolter who has not even played for Leinster's senior side yet.
Fitness and plain old luck allowing, James Ryan is going to be a big presence in Irish rugby for meany years to come.
Ryan captained Ireland to the World Rugby Under-20 Championship final last summer and followed up an impressive Six Nations [clip below] with even greater deeds against the very top teams.
TRY! Another rolling maul and captain bloody fantastic James Ryan powers over pic.twitter.com/GSZ3jvFrrJ
— 🎧🎥 Baz & Andrew’s House of Rugby🏉 (@SportsJOEdotie) February 12, 2016
He stepped up to train full-time with the senior Leinster squad and was due to make his debut while the province had men away on November Series international duty.
A severe hamstring injury stymied those plans and the lock set about an extensive rest and re-hab and re-conditioning programme.
Leinster are unlikely to cap Ryan in this weekend's Guinness PRO12 semi-final so Ryan found some game time with Munster's U20 side against a developmental Ireland U20. Munster head coach Rassie Erasmus told Irish Independent that Ryan's unusual appearance was down to a special request. He commented:
"It was just a request for him to get match fitness through Leinster and Joe Schmidt.
"There's not another game where he could play before being able be selected and they just asked if he could play for us because we did have a friendly, if you could call it that, and we said, 'Yes, no problem'."
Brian O'Driscoll famously, back in 1999, made his Ireland debut before he had lined out in a senior game for Leinster but such cases are extremely rare in modern professional times.
The squad will be named later today and there may also be call-ups for uncapped Ulster players Kieran Treadwell [lock] and Jacob Stockdale [back three].