/ Rugby

Rhys Ruddock to join Ireland squad

Updated: Sunday, 13 Jun 2010 14:01

Rhys Ruddock against England at the Junior World Championships
Rhys Ruddock against England at the Junior World Championships

Ireland Under-20 captain Rhys Ruddock has been called up to join the Ireland touring squad in New Zealand.

Ruddock, a flanker, was taking part in the Junior World Championships in Argentina but has been released by coach Allen Clarke to join his first senior tour.

Ruddock gets his opportunity following the broken arm suffered by John Muldoon and the five week suspension given to No. 8 Jamie Heaslip for his red card in the New Zealand defeat.

With both players out of the tour, Ruddock will fly from Argentina immediately and will join the team in Rotoura on Monday evening ahead of the game against New Zealand Maori on Friday.

Muldoon will undergo surgery on his broken arm in Auckland in the next 24 hours before returning home with Heaslip.

Second row Mick O’Driscoll suffered a back spasm which forced him to leave the field during the first half of the game but the injury has improved and he will continue to receive treatment over the next 48 hours.

Wing Shane Horgan has also recovered from his stomach complaint that prevented him leaving with the squad from Ireland and has arrived in Rotorua.

He joins Jerry Flannery who flew out to meet up with the squad in New Plymouth following the calf strain he suffered in the Barbarians game.

Ireland Coach Declan Kidney said: ‘We are obviously disappointed to be losing John following his injury, I felt any replacement should be one that would benefit from the experience.

‘There were other options in terms of back row replacements, but rather than bring in somebody who we were already aware of and what they could bring (to the squad), we felt Rhys would be a different option.

‘He has performed very well for the U20’s and with Leinster when he has had the chance to play this season, so this will be a good chance for him to gain experience and we have every confidence in him.’

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