The Leinster man boasts quite the trophy cabinet, Kit Shepard reveals

Who is James Ryan: Ten things you should know about the Ireland lock

James Ryan is an intelligent lineout operator and tireless tackler.

The lock has enjoyed a trophy-laden career so far in both Ireland and Leinster colours.

Ten things you should know about James Ryan

1. James Ryan was born on 24 July 1996 in Dublin. He stands at 6ft 8in (2.03m) and weighs 17st 9lb (112kg).

2. He captained Ireland to the final of the 2016 World Rugby U20 Championship. Ireland beat New Zealand for the first time at that level and secured their best finish at the tournament.

3. His great-grandfather, also named James, was imprisoned by the British military and would later become a founder of the Fianna Fáil party.

4. He came off the bench to score a try on his international debut against USA in June 2017.

5. Ryan made his Leinster debut in September 2017 and would end his first season by winning both the European Champions Cup and Pro14.

He would also win the Pro14 with Leinster in each of the next three seasons.

6. He was a key figure as Ireland won the Grand Slam in the 2018 Six Nations, starting every game and playing all but 25 minutes of the campaign.

It was part of a run where Ryan did not lose any of his first 23 professional matches.

7. Ryan’s nickname, ‘The Big Cheese’, is derived from the James Franco movie Why Him?

8. He won Players’ Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year at the 2019 Irish Rugby Players Awards.

9. He was left out of the 2021 British & Irish Lions squad.

10. Ryan played all 80 minutes as Ireland beat New Zealand for just the third time ever in 2021. He was pivotal to his side’s dominance up front as he racked up 11 tackles and made 59 metres.

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