Warren Gatland addresses Ireland international eligibility situation with Wales


Wales boss Warren Gatland was in great form at the Six Nations launch at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin yesterday afternoon.

The New Zealander is the most experienced coach in the competition and knows exactly what it takes to go all the way in rugby’s greatest championship.

But he will head into this year’s tournament with one of the most inexperienced Welsh teams in recent memory as he gets set to usher in a new era with 21-year-old Dafydd Jenkins named as Wales captain.

One man, however, who has been mentioned as a possible addition to the Welsh set-up that could bring plenty of experience is Ireland international Rhys Ruddock who is soon to be eligible for his country of birth, having not played for the men in green since 2021.

And while Gatland is aware of Ruddock’s eligibility, it looks like the Wales head coach will instead focus on the next generations, seeing as the Leinster forward is now 33.

“We understand that he is available at some stage during the tournament,” Gatland told us.

“Given his age, he is not playing a lot or starting a lot for Leinster. But we know what a quality player he is.”

But Gatland has not completely ruled out calling up Ruddock.

“He made his decision a number of years ago in terms of his allegiance with Ireland, and we respect that, but we have had a couple of conversations about him, and we have spoken to his Dad as well, and we understand that he is potentially available going forward,” Gatland added.

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