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Ruddock relishing must-win encounter

January 10, 2014 11:39:26 UK

Leinster back-row Rhys Ruddock is looking forward to their next Heineken Cup challenge when they take on Castres on Sunday.

The Irish province currently reside four points clear of second-placed Northampton Saints at the top of Pool One and are favourites to qualify from their group.

However, the Pro 12 side will have to be on their guard when they face the French team, having previously slipped up against the Midlands outfit in round four. Leinster are 1.50 to beat Castres and can be backed at 6.00 to win the Heineken Cup outright.

I’ve seen where I’ve wanted to go and I’m trying to develop certain things in my game.

Rhys Ruddock

Ruddock said: “These are massive games back-to-back, you saw the intensity it brought out of both teams in terms of Leinster against Northampton.

“It just shows that you’ve got to be on your game and it’s difficult to do back-to-back, so it gives us a bit of a focus going into this next one that we need to be right on our game.

“If Castres were to win this game they’ll be more than in the hunt so it’s a must-win for both teams. It makes for a really good battle come the weekend.”

The game will also be a chance for the flanker to stake a claim for a place in Ireland’s Six Nations squad and Ruddock is thankful that he has been given to opportunity to show his ability this season.

“I’ve been lucky enough to get plenty of game time so I’ve been in a good position to put myself forward, but it’s not really something I’m thinking of going into the games,” he added.

“I’ve seen where I’ve wanted to go and I’m trying to develop certain things in my game. I think that I’ve been a bit stronger with the ball this year.”

Ireland can be backed at 6.00 to clinch the Six Nations 2014 outright and at 11.00 to complete a Grand Slam.

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