McBryde puts trust in Leinster medical staff to help James Ryan

Leinster Ireland James Ryan

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Leinster assistant coach Robin McBryde has put his trust in the province’s medical staff to help lock forward James Ryan back to fitness.

The Irish international suffered a head injury in the national side’s 53-7 rout of Argentina at the weekend and has entered Leinster’s Return to Play protocols.

The second-rower will miss the team’s first interprovincial game of the season against Ulster on Saturday night but McBryde knows that it is for the best to put Ryan’s health first.

“We’ll be led by the medics. I don’t think it’s just confined to Leinster. It’s throughout world rugby at the moment with regards to trying to lessen these impacts and making sure that we look after the player. Put their health first,” McBryde said.

“You’ve just got to go through those protocols and trust that they’re in the best hands. I’m sure they are. We’ll just have to wait and see on that one.”

Leinster have a 10-game stretch on the horizon after the end of the international window and will tap into their depth throughout those ten weeks.

In the case of their first match of that block against Ulster, first-team players such as Ryan, Jack Conan (quad) and captain Jonathan Sexton (knee and ankle) will not be available for selection.

McBryde applauds the province’s strength-in-depth and believes it will shine positively on the most recent league champions in the coming weeks, with their European fixtures also set to kick-off soon.

“The guys back here have been working hard for this past month and I know they’re ready to take an opportunity if it comes their way.

“We’re fortunate that we’ve got good strength-in-depth, so we can afford to treat each individual case with regards to how much minutes they’ve played etc. Make sure they don’t get burn out.

“Because it’s going to be a busy schedule ahead of us, this next block of games for us. We’re into the interpros and then we’re into Europe.

“Back into the interpros and then they’re straight into the Six Nations after going back into Europe.

“It’s a big block of games, but we have got strength in depth. We’ve got quality. Hopefully, we’ll be able to manage everybody and make sure none of them get that burnt-out feeling.”

The game this week is Leinster’s first matchup of the United Rugby Championship’s new Irish Shield – points in this match go towards both the regular-season table and a smaller table with all four provinces.

Ulster come into the match against the unbeaten Pro 14 champions off the back of a heavy defeat to Connacht at the Aviva Stadium.

However, McBryde knows the quality of the opponent that his team are scheduled to face this weekend.

“They proved difficult in the last game we played them in the Rainbow Cup. They’re big men, they’ve got good go-forward.

“They carry hard, they make it really difficult for the opposition to get their game going as well.

“It will be a big test for us, but it will be hopefully one that we can stand up to and show some of the work we’ve done in the past month as well with these guys.

“We haven’t been standing still, we’ve been working on one or two things and hopefully we’ll see that come to the fore on Saturday.”

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