Having begun this year's tournament with an encouraging 33-21 defeat of Italy in Udine, Mark McDermott's side have shipped defeats to both Scotland (16-8) - for the first time ever at this level - and most recently England (28-6).
Captain Gareth Steenson - who missed the outing against England at Donnybrook on February 25 - looks set for a return from injury. UCD's Ross McCarron and Daniel Ross of Corinthians - one of two players from the Tuam Road club included - have also earned call-ups.
In the forwards, UCC scholarship student Robert Quinn is in line for his first tournament appearance.
Last season, Ireland earned a 20-20 draw away to France. Friday's visitors to Limerick chalked up two wins over both Scotland (12-8) and England (20-17) before losing to leaders Wales last time out, 20-19.
The Ireland team and replacements will be selected later this week, from the following squad:
John Andress (Belfast Harlequins)Eamonn Bracken (Buccaneers)Ryan Caldwell (Dungannon)Michael Diffley (Buccaneers)Stephen Ferris (Dungannon)Oisin Hennessy (Dungannon)Chris Henry (Malone)Mark Melbourne (Garryowen) Brett McNamee (Northampton)Joseph Merrigan (Corinthians)Robert Quinn (UCC) Lewis Stevenson (Belfast Harlequins)
Coach: Mark McDermottAssistant Coach: Brian WalshManager: David Haslett
Ireland Under-21s' Six Nations results:
Italy U-21 21 Ireland U-21 33, UdineScotland U-21 16 Ireland U-21 8, Falkirk Community StadiumIreland U-21 6 England U-21 28, Donnybrook
Fixtures to come:
Friday, March 11: Ireland U-21 v France U-21, Thomond Park (7.30pm)Friday, March 18: Wales U-21 v Ireland U-21, Rodney Parade, Newport (7.00pm)