Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Ryder ready for more caps

Tom Ryder is hopeful of getting more game time with Scotland when they take on Samoa

Tom Ryder has vowed to make sure that his Scotland career extends beyond its current length of two minutes.

The Glasgow lock was called on to the field against Fiji for his international debut less than two minutes from the final whistle on Saturday. And, though he is delighted to have gained that cap, it is not enough to satisfy the ambition that saw the lock shift his family to Glasgow, where his father Paul was born, to throw in his lot with Scotland after starting his career in England.

"The two minutes I was on didn't really feel any different to anything else I have done but I think I would have to play a little bit longer to get the full flavour of international rugby," he admitted.

"I think I have barely scratched the surface really. The whole match day experience, the whole build-up to both the Australia and Fiji games has been great.

"I have really enjoyed being here, just the training sessions and the increased intensity there has been fantastic. I am enjoying the whole experience.

"It is a fulfilment of a dream, but I do not want to have just the one cap and go away. I want to be playing regularly, having an impact on games and having a fulfilled international career."

His brief taste has been enough to whet his appetite for more and since the locals in Samoa reckon the temperatures in Apia, the islands's capital, are about five degrees warmer than in Fiji, he is almost certain to get his wish on Saturday when Scotland play in temperatures that are certain to soar past a humid 30 degrees.

Nor is he underestimating the challenge ahead of his side. The Samoans have a formidable team available to them and have just been crowned Pacific Nations Cup champions after an unbeaten tournament in Japan that culminated with them edging past the hosts to clinch the cup.

"The Samoan forwards are better known than the Fijian ones, a lot of them are playing in France or in the Aviva Premiership or are in and around the PRO12. They are all playing good rugby, so it is going to be a full on international. It is nothing less than that," said Ryder.

"I am friends with Census Johnston from my time at Saracens and obviously with David Lemi from Glasgow. You just have to look at the name on their team sheet to see the quality and the standard of rugby that these players are producing. I would imagine they are going to be a tough, physical pack."

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