GARRY RINGROSE HAS as mature a head as you’re likely to find on 21-year-old shoulders.

The Leinster centre has already been at the centre of a maelstrom of hype demanding his inclusion in Joe Schmidt’s Ireland squad, and expectations around him are likely to continue to grow during the upcoming campaign.

Ringrose starts at 13 for Leinster against Gloucester today. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

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A nominee for World Rugby Junior Player of the Year in 2014, Ringrose could be forgiven for having a hint of cockiness in his demeanour. Indeed, a bit of a swagger might even be welcomed. You almost think it might be good for him.

Not a hint of it. The Dublin man is polite, composed and happy to have a quick chat after the dictaphones are turned off. Refreshingly, and despite the promising future ahead of him, Ringrose realises that rugby isn’t everything in life.

Heading into the fourth year of his Business and Law degree in UCD, Ringrose points out that “it’s important to keep on top of that,” as well as looking to add to his 20 starts for Leinster.

Last year, head coach Leo Cullen indicated that he had held Ringrose back from the Champions Cup action in order to allow the outside centre to complete exams without additional pressure.

Perhaps Ringrose’s desire to forge a future outside of rugby explains his relative patience. The Leinster man has rejected a number of chances to put himself forward as being ready for Test rugby in the past year, when others in his position might have done so.

“It’s a bit of experience I suppose,” says the centre. “My dad, who played club rugby, his rugby playing finished pretty quickly because he got injured badly.

“He would have had that experience himself and it would be important for my mum as well that I finish through that degree. It’s a bit of experience and being sensible as well, trying to do both at the same time and putting as much effort into both. It’s definitely do-able.”

Ringrose with Robbie Henshaw and Josh van der Flier in the new Leinster alternate kit. Source: SPORTSFILE

Ringrose doesn’t lack ambition in rugby, however, and he certainly looks to have the ability to feature for Ireland in the future.

He says he did his best not to focus on of the hype last season, instead reminding himself to have a “growth mindset” as he attempted to build his game.

Much of the focus on Ringrose tends to be on his undoubtedly sharp footwork, dart of pace and ability to spot gaps. But his work in defence has been equally impressive for Leinster, with his reading of the game standing out and now being backed up by moments of impactful contact.

“It’s just about trying to pick that up and hold onto that as much as you can, then put it into practice at the next opportunity. You’re always presented with something new, but the experiences help you handle them a little better.”

There has been much talk of Ringrose’s physical stature in the early stages of his senior professional career too.