Finn Russell ‘It’s a massive honour but I can’t get too distracted’ – Ringrose focused on ‘job at hand’ ahead of big kick-off

Finn Russell ‘It’s a massive honour but I can’t get too distracted’ – Ringrose focused on ‘job at hand’ ahead of big kick-off

Finn Russell This is another glamorous constituent!!


Finn Russell 20 September 2019; Garry Ringrose poses for a portrait during the Ireland Rugby squad announcement, ahead of their opening Pool A game against Scotland, at the Yokohama Bay Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Yokohama, Japan. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
20 September 2019; Garry Ringrose poses for a portrait during the Ireland Rugby squad announcement, ahead of their opening Pool A game against Scotland, at the Yokohama Bay Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Yokohama, Japan. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

AFTER a nomadic summer, Garry Ringrose is back in Ireland’s number 13 jersey for the World Cup opener against Scotland in Yokohama tomorrow (8.45am kick-off) and the Leinsterman is understandably welcoming the responsibility on his shoulders.

At his first tournament, this start was no guarantee. In the final two warm-up games he was used as a replacement at both wing and full-back while at various points during August he found himself cited as notional cover for the squad’s half-backs too. If it seemed like Joe Schmidt was planning for him to fill a sort of super-utility role, the win over Wales two weeks ago only strengthened the argument. The performance of Robbie Henshaw in his seasonal bow underlined his importance to the cause, and with Bundee Aki having answered his critics a week prior, it seemed set that they would be the pair in the midfield against the Scots with Ringrose’s versatility relegating him to the number 23 jersey.

Injury to Henshaw in Chiba scuppered those plans, even if Schmidt later rejected the notion that his preferred team had ever been set in stone prior to leaving for Japan.

“You’re never really sure of one’s place in the 31, let alone getting the chance to play in the first game so it’s a massive honour for me to be able to do that,” said Ringrose of the idea he’d been battling for his place.

“Selection is something out of my control, out of all our control, and the advice I would have been given from early on, r

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