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Ireland speedster Jacob Stockdale is looking to find a way into the side’s Rugby World Cup squad after a hard period over the last 18 months. The Ulster star spent just one week short of a year out with ankle damage that proved hard for medical specialists to find solutions for. Stockdale suffered the injury in 2021, the same year as his last Test, in what has been a shock World Cup cycle for the 27-year-old.

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Ireland Vs Scotland: Players' eyes on a spot in the team for RWC 2023

Rough times before Rugby World Cup

Approaching the RWC 2019, Stockdale was at the peak of his rules and an obvious first choice, but now he is hostile for a place in the lengthy squad. The Irishman reproduced the challenging injury that has so pointedly jammed his rugby growth. I’ve had some really hard times over the last 18 months definite downs, I didn’t tell what was going on with my ankle, he told media.

It was a really rare injury that the physios had never seen before, then the expert in London had never seen it before in a sports person not even in Rugby World Cup player, so it was unexplored ground. They were like, this is what we’ll do but we don’t have any prior skill to back this up so we don’t know what’s going to happen.

I didn’t know if the surgery was going to work before RWC or not, stuff like that made it an incredible place to be. Then when I woke up the health team went ‘How’s your hip?’ and I was like ‘It wasn’t my hip you were doing?’. Turns out they went into my hip to get stem cells to place into my ankle. Luckily, they arranged my ankle out when they were there.

RWC 2023: Interesting return for Ireland

However, the flexibility of the man showed as he returned to the ground for Ireland ‘A’ against an All Blacks XV at the RDS Stadium, which the New Zealanders conquered in a 47-19 win. Stockdale, however, confesses that he may not have been in the best head space and then his form from then on hurt. I think that the whole of November wasn’t a mainly good period for me.

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I was stressed, just having come back from that injury, and then to be frank I think my head space wasn’t in the best place because I was just trying to catch up with that ankle, he said. Coming into the Six Nations site, I trained well but it’s extremely frustrating clearly because you want to be tangled in the games, in the France Rugby World Cup team. Rugby fans can book Ireland Rugby World Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

That’s particularly when the lads are winning every week, and kind of looking down the drum of a Grand Slam. You want to be as involved as you can in that. At the same time, I understood that I was out for over a year with my ankle damage and other guys took chances there and were playing very, very well and, as well as that, I perhaps wasn’t in the best form leading into the Six Nations but I am ready for RWC.

The late form produced him an RWC 2023 spot

He trusts that the work put in during the Six Nations period is what has eventually forced him back into form for Ulster and received a spot in the group. I think just having that six to eight-week period to truly focus on myself and train well brought out good acts in the ‘fallow’ mid-Six Nations URC weeks for Ulster and, later, the closing stages of the season, he added.

I felt I was doing well and in good form in the last four or five games of the season and that I did enough to make sure I was in this RWC squad. I’m happy, and thankful, that the hard work that I’d done over the four or five weeks led to me getting here. Stockdale may be in the wider squad but Ireland claims impressive back-three talent with starters Hugo Keenan, James Lowe and Mack Hansen in incredible form as a trio.

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Cameron Redpath aiming place in the Scotland Rugby World Cup squad

Cameron Redpath has already been at one RWC in a Scotland jersey back in 2003, when, as a baby, he was cheering on his father Bryan at the competition in Australia. This summer, the 23-year-old centre hopes to join his second and this time play a more essential role in records as part of Gregor Townsend’s squad for the competition in France.

I was there in 2003 as a three-year-old with my brother, sister, mum and grandparents, the Bath player recalled yesterday at Oriam, where the national squad are getting ready for the four-match run of Rugby World Cup 2023 warm-up fixtures which begins a week on Saturday with the visit of Italy. It was special, and looking back on the snaps of me in a Scotland shirt, it would mean the world to me now, something that I would love to do. Rugby fans can buy Scotland Rugby World Cup Tickets at exclusively discounted prices.

For me as a kid rising, my dad had his caps on the wall at home. He went to three RWCs, and he’s got them all on the wall, so it would be attractive and cool to add mine and do the same one day. I’ve been a big rugby admirer all my life because of my old man, and I watched a lot of it on TV. But I’ve never actually been to a Rugby World Cup game apart from 2003.

If we can win the first RWC 2023 game then we can win the title

We’ve got the attention that we can beat anyone on our day if we get our stuff accurate. I think if we can get out of our group which is a big test then there is no aim why we can’t win it, because we have the world No.1 and the world champs in there. That’s the method we’re going with that we’ll take every game as it comes, starting with the first game against the South Africa Rugby World Cup team at the start of the pool stage.

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Before his thoughts turn properly to take on the Irish, the Springboks or any other opponents, as a keen Manchester United follower, Redpath will be at Murrayfield this afternoon to see the team’s pre-season friendly against Lyon. We’ve got the day off so I will certainly be there. I love watching football. It’s perhaps my favourite sport apart from Rugby World Cup.

Redpath was more than a half-decent RWC player, although he believes he was always better suited to rugby. Back in the day, I was all right. I was in the West Brom academy for a while, but then I got a bit older and awkward and liked the interaction too much so had to quit it for rugby. I still love it and any gamble I get now I do love to play. But I never would have made it. I was far too slow for that.

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