Speaking ahead of Friday night’s Magners League game, Leinster and Ireland wing forward RHYS RUDDOCK says that the squad are determined to get back to winning ways against an in-form Scarlets side…

ON OSPREYS DEFEAT: “It was always going to be a difficult game against the Ospreys and they had a very strong side with an aggressive defence. The positive that we took from the game was that they didn’t beat our defensive cover. We were disappointed to lose the game and we know that we have to be more clinical, especially in the last 20 minutes. Had we kept our composure we could have gotten more out of the game, so that is an area we have addressed this week so if we’re in the same position, hopefully we’ll have learned our lessons.”

ON WEATHER DISRUPTIONS THIS WEEK: “The two challenges facing us this week were the short five-day turnaround and obviously the poor weather which has struck the province. Because of the snow, training on the field has been limited, but because of the close proximity of matches we mightn’t have done an awful lot of work on our feet anyway, so we just got on with our preparations. It meant (that) there was one less training day, but we still had our day off after the Ospreys game and we approached our analysis and preparation as we would any other game, so it’s not an excuse.”

ON RETURNING INTERNATIONALS: “There was a freshness and a buzz around the squad this week with the return of the Ireland internationals and, as well as that of Mariano (Galarza) and Hinesy (Nathan Hines) with Scotland. Something that Joe (Schmidt) spoke about this week was the need for everyone to add to the squad and improve it ahead of a big month for Leinster. The international guys appreciate the effort that has been put in over the last few weeks and it strengthens the competition. Obviously the likes of Jamie (Heaslip), Seanie (O’Brien), Jenno (Shane Jennings) and Keogher (Stephen Keogh) are seasoned competitors, but for the likes of Dominic (Ryan) and myself it’s good to have the opportunity to try and stake a claim having been involved in a lot of games this season. With that experience under our belts, it’s about carrying on the good work that has been done and pushing on. For the team it’s about putting ourselves in as strong a position as possible to win every game we play.”

ON SCARLETS: “Some people might be surprised by their good form this year, but you could see glimpses of the kind of results they could achieve last year and they have carried on from there. David Lyons is a big player for them and someone we’ll have to target because he can dominate play if he’s given time and space. Regan King carries a strong attacking threat and they try to play a fast, offload game which can hurt you. Their game-breakers give them good ‘go forward’ ball so they’ll be difficult opponents in their home ground.”

ON DECEMBER: “It’s a big month for the province and we’re all excited by the challenges ahead. We’re finishing off this part of the league season before two big European games, but we’re fully focused on this game. Nothing else matters. You want to be involved in all of the games and put yourself in the picture (for selection), so Friday night provides us all with another big test and one we’re looking forward to.”