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Joe Schmidt Explains Why He's Chosen Garry Ringrose Over More Natural 12s

Joe Schmidt Explains Why He's Chosen Garry Ringrose Over More Natural 12s
By PJ Browne
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When Garry Ringrose took his place on the bench at the Aviva on Saturday, he would not have expected to be called upon just over ten minutes into the game. That is what happened when Sam Cane connected with Robbie Henshaw's head, KOing the centre.

It meant Ringrose would play at the relatively unfamiliar position of inside centre.


Ringrose will again play at inside centre against Australia on Saturday. That is despite players who would be considered more established 12s - such as Luke Marshall and Stuart Olding - being available for selection by Joe Schmidt.

The Ireland head coach was so impressed with Ringrose's 70 minutes off the bench against the All Blacks, he felt that the 21-year-old deserved another start.

It's a reflection of his performance last week. I thought Garry stepped in and did incredibly well.

He managed to get himself up in the top three tacklers in the game, which is a fair reflection of the effort he made. He slipped a couple of tackles and got one linebreak and almost got another couple.

It's another opportunity to invest in Garry. We've had him in camp for the last year-and-a-half at different times. He's been a long-term investment that we want to take this opportunity to develop a little bit further.

Saturday's game will be Ringrose's second start for Ireland and his third cap in total.

Schmidt believes that playing against the Aussie duo of Hodge and Kuridrani will provide Ringrose with invaluable experience.

He gets to play inside Jared Payne. He gets another real learning experience. He gets another chance to step up. Up against Reece Hodge and Tevita Kuridrani - that's a massive ask for him. They're both very big men as well.


See Also: Ireland Team To Play Australia On Saturday Named

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