THURSDAY will be a dream come true for Berrings native John Ryan.
He gets to see his first bit of action in the World Cup as he starts in an all-Munster tight five against Russia in Kobe, 11.15am.
He will line up alongside Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, Tadhg Beirne and Jean Kleyn and will be hoping that his World Cup dream doesn’t end the same way as the 2007 team but says he can’t wait to get going.
“It’s huge. It’s something you dream of,” says Ryan. “I’ve had my wait like no other man in the team, third game in and getting my first bit of the action, I’m looking forward to it now.
“I suppose you can remember all of those (World Cups), 1999, 2003 obviously we forget about 2007, keep that at the back of the mind. You probably don’t dream of being there at that age, it’s something that feels very much out of the reach. Here we are, we’re at the World Cup and we’ve a big point to prove on Thursday.”
Ryan toured Japan with Ireland two years ago and while it was warm and humid on that tour, it wasn’t anything like it is now. Preparation for tomorrow’s game because of a five-day turnaround has been shortened to just one training session and that should be enough, says Ryan.
“Two years ago I was here and there might not have been a roof over the pitch but it was very warm. We have to deal with more humidity here now but I think we’re all more than able for it. We did our warm weather camps and our cooling strategies and all that. We’re prepared for that.
“I think we’ll just have to focus on the game at hand, really. Just focus on the team we’re playing ahead of us because we’ve done all warm-weather stuff, we’ve done all the cooling strategies.
“Early in the pre-season and into that Portugal trip and even the first two World Cup games so we’re looking firmly at Russia, we can’t be worrying about conditions.
“I suppose if we’re worrying about anything we just have to be more clinical and make sure we’re clinical in the collisions.”
IRELAND: Rob Kearney, Andrew Conway, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Keith Earls, Johnny Sexton (c), Luke McGrath; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn Tadhg Beirne, Rhys Ruddock, Peter O’Mahony, Jordi Murphy.
Replacements: Sean Cronin, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, CJ Stander, Joey Carbery, Jack Carty, Jordan Larmour.