Rory Best Expects A Big Performance From A Certain Young Irish Star This Weekend
We want him to fit in.
Ireland captain Rory Best is expecting big things from former U-20s captain James Ryan this weekend as he gets set to make his first real big start for Ireland against Argentina.
Ryan will partner Best’s Ulster and Lions teammate Iain Henderson in the second-row, with big things expected from the Leinster prodigy, who is still just 21.
Best is impressed with Ryan’s physicality for his age, but says it will be a challenge for him to impost his game on the Pumas. The skipper says Ryan has been told by the experienced lads in the team to go out and show them what he’s made op/
“James Ryan doesn’t want a lot for physicality, and that’s hugely impressive at his age,” Best told RTÉ
“The hardest thing is to go out and impose your own game on the opposition.
“What we’ve told him is that it doesn’t matter how old you are, just go out and show us what we’ve seen from him with Leinster and the Under-20s. He’s a genuine physical presence, and there aren’t too many of them in Ireland.”
In terms of producing more physical players like Ryan, Best reckons Ireland are getting better. He says the key is to make sure you get the best out of that presence. He also expected Ryan to show his leadership qualities this weekend, despite his age and inexperience.
“We’re getting better at producing them but the gene pool is a little bit smaller than, say, the likes of South Africa who naturally have a lot of big men. You’re born with that physical presence but it’s making sure we get the most out of that.
“There’s no point being this big, physical character if you go into your shell. We’ve seen bits of it and the fact he captained the Under-20s shows that he’s a big character and it’s important we get that out of him.
“It mustn’t just be that he fits in, it’s that he must fit in, but add something as well. We want him to fit in, and we want him to make a difference as well by playing his own game.”
“But we also want him to be contributing as a leader. And I’ve no doubt that from the early signs, that will come.”