James Ryan will captain Ireland for the first time in Saturday's Autumn Nations Cup clash with England at Twickenham and the lock's Leinster teammate James Tracy says he's a "man you'd follow into battle".
The 24-year-old skippers the side in the absence of Johnny Sexton with Ryan set to captain his country before having captained his province.
“Over the last couple of years everyone has talked about James being a potential captain, a potential leader for this team," Ireland coach Andy Farrell said of Ryan when naming his team today.
“I saw something at the start of the Six Nations where he actually started to think that ‘People are talking about me this way, maybe I should do something about it.’
“He has 100 per cent come to the fore with his curiosity and how he wants to lead.
“I have been super impressed over the last nine months with how he handles himself, first and foremost, and how he interacts and thinks of others.
CJ Stander added that the squad listens whenever the Leinster lock speaks and Tracy has revealed that Ryan has always shown leadership qualities.
"He's a special man and I'm chuffed for him to get that honour. He's probably one of the calmest heads I've come across for his age.
"When he first came into the group, he seemed to fit in seamlessly and from the outside he doesn't seem to be phased by big occasions or pressure, he keeps showing up.
"It's well deserved and he's a man you'd follow into battle."
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