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Rhys Ruddock praised Leinster's squad depth and work ethic after today's seven try haul against Northampton. 

The 2018-19 Champions Cup runners-up added a bonus point to the 43-16 victory with the return fixture set to take place in Dublin next week.

He praised the younger members of the squad for stepping up to the mark while the international players were on duty at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Ruddock spoke with the media after today's win at Franklin's Gardens.

"It was nice for us when we were away to see the lads doing so well. It meant that we knew the competition for places was going to be massive, and also the confidence within the group when we came back in would be massive,' he said.

He says it has been a great morale boost for the squad, and says confidence is very high amongst the diligent group.

"It was certainly a good environment to come back into. It's made everyone work as hard as they can, and made them fight for the position in the team.

Leinster face "The Saints" in the return fixture next week and will not be taking anything for granted especially after their 18-9 defeat at home to the English side back in 2013/14 season.

The flanker scored his first try for the province in 18 months and says the Dublin based side will not take their foot off the pedal in the build up to next week's clash in the Aviva.

"It will be no different this week, everyone has got to turn up to train on Monday and show that edge because there are guys willing and ready to step in - if that's not the case,' added Ruddock.

'Pool 1' is headed up by Leo Cullen's side who have a five-point lead ahead of Northampton, and another win against Chris Boyd's side would put them in a stronger position for a quarter-final spot, something Ruddock isn't taking for granted.

"They are such a good side that if we don't get the job done next week, all of a sudden we maybe lose control of that pool, and then it looks really different."

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Champions Cup Leinster Niall Mcgrath Otb Rugby Rhys Ruddock Rugby

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