herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Rhys Ruddock and Marty Moore close to return for Leinster

Ruddock starred in Ireland’s wins over South Africa and Australia last November, but has spent most of 2015 on the sidelines
Ruddock starred in Ireland’s wins over South Africa and Australia last November, but has spent most of 2015 on the sidelines

Ireland internationals Rhys Ruddock and Martin Moore are ready to line-up for Leinster for the first time this season at home to The Dragons in the PRO12 League on Saturday afternoon.

Both forwards were deemed near-certainties for the Ireland squad until injury intervened to tear down their dreams of a first World Cup campaign.

It is still not outside the bounds of possibility that one, or both, could be called into the World Cup were a prop or loose forward to come undone by injury. 

Flanker Ruddock has made his way back from a twice operated on forearm fracture to prove his fitness to Leinster coach Leo Cullen. 

Tight-head Moore has recovered from a foot surgery which scuppered his chances as late as a week before the squad was finalised.    

There is more positivity in second row Tom Denton’s availability after passing his return-to-play protocols from a head injury taken against Edinburgh just under four weeks ago.

This leaves loose-head Ed Byrne (knee) and lock Mick Kearney (ankle) as the only long-term injuries in the wake of Kevin McLaughlin’s retirement.

Kearney returned from injury to play in the All-Ireland League for Clontarf last weekend only to damage his ankle.

The ticket sale for Leinster’s mouth-watering Champions Cup clash with Toulon has moved past 25,000.

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