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Saturday 21 October 2017

Frustrated Ryan ready to show his worth to Blues

Flanker Dominic Ryan has let fly with words that have to be backed-up against Munster.

"I know what I'm capable of doing once I'm fit. That's up there with any of the other players in the country in my position," he said recently.

There have been times over the past three seasons when the cutting presence of injury has taken him away from the game.

The frustration seeped right through him.

It has often been said that in this game if you are standing still, you are, in reality, falling behind because of the progress being made by others. The case of his pal Rhys Ruddock moving ahead hurt.

But, the rise of Jordi Murphy must have grated most.

The 23 year-old still hadn't made his Leinster debut when Ryan was coming off his most productive season, playing 23 times in 2010-2011, winning five caps in the Heineken Cup, one as a starter.

"It's frustrating seeing lads in your position getting ahead of you when you're injured, knowing that it would have been you if only for fitness. That's the motivation for me. I know what I'm capable of when I'm playing.

"The key to it is being available every week. I'm benefitting now from others having injuries and I'm ready to step up and ready to play. It's a good feeling.

"You don't want your team-mates to get injured but it does give me a chance," he admitted.

It is the same old story from Leinster to Munster. Flankers Sean O'Brien (shoulder), Murphy (shoulder), Shane Jennings (hamstring) and Kevin McLaughlin (knee) are all where Ryan spent much of the last two seasons.

"I never had any doubt that if I stayed injury-free that I was going to be in contention for a starting-place in the team. I firmly believe that myself. In terms of filling in for people, I don't see myself as that player. I see myself as a starter".

Now, Ryan is reunited with his old Ireland U20 captain Ruddock in a back row completed by their captain Jamie Heaslip in an area where Munster traditionally prospers.

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