Ruddock on course for Leinster's crack at Saracens

File image of Rhys Ruddock training with Ireland.

Rhys Ruddock is on course to feature for Leinster in their Champions Cup quarter-final against reigning champions Saracens in Dublin at the start of April, writes Brendan O’Brien.

The Ireland back row suffered a Grade 3 hamstring tear during his province’s defeat of Exeter in Sandy Park in mid-December and the initial sense was that the 27-year would be facing a fight to get back before the of the season.

That diagnosis had improved by the time he reported some encouraging progress last month and Ruddock, while coy about pinning down a definite return date, is clearly hopeful of putting his hand up for his club’s biggest game of the season.

“Hopefully,” he said in Dublin on Wednesday morning. “We haven't really put an exact week on it. I was initially to be back early April but I think I'll definitely achieve that. It's just sorta seeing if we can get everything in order before then.”

He is definitely ahead of schedule and, while there are “a few more boxes to tick” before he resumed running and training with his clubmates, a return to the teamsheet some time in March is a distinct possibility.

That is very good news for Leinster head coach Leo Cullen who has had to do without a number of key back row players at various points this term. Abd Ruddock was in superb form being struck down by injury.

Jamie Heaslip has yet to play this year, Sean O’Brien has not featured since mid-December due to a hip issue which required surgery and Josh van der Flier has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign with the injury he suffered in Paris with Ireland in the Six Nations.

Ruddock has teamed up with Welsh international Rhys Priestland, Rugby Players Ireland and Zurich to launch of the new Tackle Your Feelings app. The app aims to encourage users to be proactive about their mental wellbeing using sports psychology and positive psychology principles.

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