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RYAN RELISHING TOUGH OPENER: Ireland captain Paul Ryan cannot wait for kick-off at Ravenhill tonight when his side goes toe to toe with defending U-19 World champions Australia.

The talented Blackrock back rower knows the hosts will be up against as they take on an Australian side that prepared for this tournament with a training camp Australian Institute of Sport and a very credible trial match win over Canberra's first team.

"It's going to be a tough game and we're not treating it as an easy game. We know the job in hand and we are just treating it as normal game," Ryan explained.

"They (the Australians) are only human at the end of day and we can't wait to get into it and show them what we have got. "They will have a big pack but one of our strengths is the pack and our forward play. We have the ability to keep the ball in hand and to keep it throughout the game.

"I think our pack is more than capable of dealing with the Aussies. It's the sort of game forwards love playing and having a go at each other."

Ryan is confident that this Irish team can cope with the added pressure of being the host nation and follow up on Ireland's fifth-place finish at last year's tournament in Dubai.

"Being the host nation will be to our advantage. A lot of us thrive on the pressure and the nerves and translate them into positive energy," he insisted.

"It's our goal and aim to get a win against Australia but there are no easy games. We will be taking it game by game and we're well aware we have a tough job on our hands over the next week and a half."

CHAMPIONSHIP TICKET DETAILS: Tickets options for the 2007 IRB Under-19 World Championship include the Day Pass which provides entry to the game(s) played at a specified venue on a particular match day, the Follow The Team ticket which will permit entry to any ground at which that particular team are playing throughout the tournament, and the Venue specific ticket which will give the bearer entry to all matches played at that particular ground.

Spectators can pre-order their tickets from the Ravenhill counter or by calling the ticket hotline on tel: 0044 (0)28 9049 3222. The Follow the Team and Venue tickets can be purchased online from www.ulsterrugbytickets.com.

Ticket Prices (all in Sterling):

DIVISION A MATCHES:

Pre-Purchased Day Pass (venue specific): £4 adult, £2 child

Venue Ticket: £12 adult, £6 child
(The Ravenhill Venue ticket will also give the bearer access to the ground (not the stand) for the finals)

Follow The Team: £12 adult, £6 child
(Valid for ground access at Ravenhill should your team reach the final)

Day Pass Pay at the Gate (venue specific): £6 adult, £3 child

DIVISION B MATCHES:

Pre-Purchased Day Pass (venue specific): £2 adult, £1 child

Venue Ticket: £6 adult, £3 child

Follow the Team: £6 adult, £3 child

Day Pass Pay at the Gate (venue specific): £4 adult, £2 child

FINALS AT RAVENHILL:

DIVISION A FINAL: Stand - £8 adult, £4 child; Ground - £5 adult, £2 child

DIVISION B FINAL: £4 adults, £2 children anywhere in the ground

GROUND UPGRADES: The 2007 IRB U-19 World Championship will see 60 matches held at six different match venues in Belfast and Bangor.

The venues for the Division A matches are Ravenhill, Deramore Park and Shaw's Bridge, while the Division B fixtures are being played at The Dub (Queens), Malone and Uprichard Park (Bangor).

All six clubs involved will receive a match fee for staging a game as well as keeping half the gate. There have also been upgrades at several of the venues, including painting and decorating work, improved PA systems and broadband installation.

Profits from food and beverage sales on match days will go back to the host clubs. Each venue will stage two games a night, with 5.30pm and 7.30pm kick-offs, with entertainment and mini-rugby blitzes played in between.

The Titan stand that is regularly seen at Ravenhill has been temporarily moved to Deramore Park, the home of Belfast Harlequins, to boost the ground's covered seating to the 1,000 mark.

TRAINING VENUES: Anyone wishing to see some of the international teams going through their paces at training during the tournament should note that the teams are using the following schools and club venues as their training bases:

IRELAND - Greenmount
NEW ZEALAND - Campbell College
AUSTRALIA - Ballyclare
FRANCE - RBAI
ENGLAND - Methodist College
SCOTLAND - CIYMS
ARGENTINA - BHSFP
WALES - Thiepval Barracks
ZIMBABWE - Academy
FIJI - Ards
USA - Carrickfergus
CHINESE TAIPEI - Civil Service
ROMANIA - Donaghadee
GEORGIA - Lisburn
CANADA - YMCA
URUGUAY - Bangor Grammar
CHILE - Belfast High School
ITALY - Grosvenor
SAMOA - Sullivan
TONGA - Wellington College
JAPAN - UUJ
RUSSIA - Ashfield College
COOK ISLANDS - Ballynahinch

SAY WHAT?:

"As a number 12 I love watching him play. Each time opposition get to him, he is always over the gain line. His ball presentation is always brilliant."

- St. Michael's centre Conor Cleary, who will start for Ireland against Australia tonight, gives his opinion on one of his favourite players, Leinster and Ireland star Gordon D'Arcy

"Hopefully the support will act as the 16th man and it really does make a difference because a lot of us have never played at home representing our country at under-age level.

"I can't wait to get out in front of the home crowd and sing the anthem, it's going to be an emotional occasion."

- Paul Ryan, the Blackrock number eight who is Ireland's captain for the tournament, is calling for a big vocal backing from the home fans at Ravenhill

"As defending champions we want to retain the title, but the nature of this age-group is that you are almost always coming up against a different team each year.

"The players have changed and you cannot always be sure of the calibre of opposition you will be facing, although traditionally there will the strong teams - Ireland being one of them."

- Australian coach Phil Mooney dubs Ireland as one of the competition's strongest teams ahead of his side's meeting with the hosts at Ravenhill tonight

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20 June 2018
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