Leinster team to face Scarlets

Guinness PRO12 Editor

2 Dec 2010


The Leinster team to face the Scarlets in Friday night’s Magners League clash at Parc y Scarlets (KO: 7.05pm) has been named.

Gordon D’Arcy is one of three returning Ireland internationals named in the starting line-up, with Eoin Reddan resuming his half-back partnership with Jonathan Sexton. D’Arcy partners Eoin O’Malley at centre with Fergus McFadden switching to the wing in a back three which again includes Shane Horgan and Isa Nacewa.

Mike Ross starts in a pack containing a mix of youth and experience. Devin Toner, the province’s latest Ireland international, starts in the second row alongside skipper Leo Cullen, with Rhys Ruddock forming an exciting looking back-row alongside Dominic Ryand and Sean O’Brien.

Leinster can call upon experience from the replacements bench with the likes of Shaun Berne, Nathan Hines and Shane Jennings all included.


15: Isa Nacewa
14: Shane Horgan
13: Eoin O’Malley
12: Gordon D’Arcy
11: Fergus McFadden
10: Jonathan Sexton
9: Eoin Reddan

1: Heinke van der Merwe
2: Richardt Strauss
3: Mike Ross
4: Leo Cullen CAPTAIN
5: Devin Toner
6: Rhys Ruddock
7: Dominic Ryan
8: Sean O’Brien


16: Tom Sexton
17: Jack McGrath
18: Clint Newland
19: Nathan Hines
20: Shane Jennings
21: Paul O’Donohoe
22: Shaun Berne
23: Dave Kearney

REFEREE: Neil Paterson (SRU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Colin Kirkhouse, Martyn Lewis (both WRU), TMO: Hugh Watkins (WRU)

Speaking ahead of Friday night’s Magners League game, Leinster and Ireland wing forward RHYS RUDDOCK says that the squad are determined to get back to winning ways against an in-form Scarlets side.

ON OSPREYS DEFEAT: “It was always going to be a difficult game against the Ospreys and they had a very strong side with an aggressive defence. The positive that we took from the game was that they didn’t beat our defensive cover. We were disappointed to lose the game and we know that we have to be more clinical, especially in the last 20 minutes. Had we kept our composure we could have gotten more out of the game, so that is an area we have addressed this week so if we’re in the same position, hopefully we’ll have learned our lessons.”

ON WEATHER DISRUPTIONS THIS WEEK: “The two challenges facing us this week were the short five-day turnaround and obviously the poor weather which has struck the province. Because of the snow, training on the field has been limited, but because of the close proximity of matches we mightn’t have done an awful lot of work on our feet anyway, so we just got on with our preparations. It meant (that) there was one less training day, but we still had our day off after the Ospreys game and we approached our analysis and preparation as we would any other game, so it’s not an excuse.”

ON RETURNING INTERNATIONALS: “There was a freshness and a buzz around the squad this week with the return of the Ireland internationals and, as well as that of Mariano (Galarza) and Hinesy (Nathan Hines) with Scotland. Something that Joe (Schmidt) spoke about this week was the need for everyone to add to the squad and improve it ahead of a big month for Leinster. The international guys appreciate the effort that has been put in over the last few weeks and it strengthens the competition. Obviously the likes of Jamie (Heaslip), Seanie (O’Brien), Jenno (Shane Jennings) and Keogher (Stephen Keogh) are seasoned competitors, but for the likes of Dominic (Ryan) and myself it’s good to have the opportunity to try and stake a claim having been involved in a lot of games this season. With that experience under our belts, it’s about carrying on the good work that has been done and pushing on. For the team it’s about putting ourselves in as strong a position as possible to win every game we play.”

ON SCARLETS: “Some people might be surprised by their good form this year, but you could see glimpses of the kind of results they could achieve last year and they have carried on from there. David Lyons is a big player for them and someone we’ll have to target because he can dominate play if he’s given time and space. Regan King carries a strong attacking threat and they try to play a fast, offload game which can hurt you. Their game-breakers give them good ‘go forward’ ball so they’ll be difficult opponents in their home ground.”

ON DECEMBER: “It’s a big month for the province and we’re all excited by the challenges ahead. We’re finishing off this part of the league season before two big European games, but we’re fully focused on this game. Nothing else matters. You want to be involved in all of the games and put yourself in the picture (for selection), so Friday night provides us all with another big test and one we’re looking forward to.”

Name: Rhys Ruddock
DOB: 13th November 1990
Birthplace: Dublin
Height: 1.91 m (6' 3")
Weight: 103 kg (16 st 3 lb)
Position: Flanker
Club: St. Mary's College RFC
School: Millfield School

Leinster Caps – Career: 8
Leinster Caps – 2010/11: 5
Leinster 'A' Caps: 2 (v Munster x2)
British & Irish Cup Cap: 1 (v Plymouth Albion)

Ireland Cap: 1
Ireland Under-20 Caps: 16 (v Wales x3, France x3, Italy x2, England x3, Scotland x2, New Zealand, Uruguay, Samoa)
Leinster Under-20 Cap: 1 (v Connacht)