Luke McGrath, who is in his second year at this age grade, will captain the team from scrum half. He was part of the Ireland side that lost to England at last season's Five Nations tournament in Wales.
The matchday panel, which includes players from all four provinces, draws on the recently announced National Talent squads that are part of the IRFU's High Performance Pathway.
McGrath is partnered by half-back by Steve Crosbie of St. Gerard's, with PBC's Seamus Glynn and Chris Farrell, who is one of three Campbell College pupils in the squad, linking up at centre.
Jerry Sexton from St. Mary's College, a younger brother of Leinster and Ireland's Jonathan Sexton, will partner Rockwell College's Sean McCarthy in the second row.
PBC's Ryan Murphy, who captained the Munster Schools side this season, joins Dan Leavy of St. Michael's and Castleknock's Jack O'Neill in a strong back row combination.
Head coach Terry McMaster and his assistants Kenny Hooks and Paul Barr have been battling the elements as they prepare the players for this crucial qualifier which will decide the rankings and pool placements for the tournament.
Thurday's match at Donnybrook has a 2pm kick-off. There is a nominal cover charge of 5 euro for adults.
The Under-18 European Championship will take place in Tarbes in France from April 15 to 24.
IRELAND UNDER-18 SCHOOLS Team & Replacements (v England Under-18s, 2011 FIRA-AER U-18 European Championship Qualifier, Donnybrook, Thursday, December 30, kick-off 2pm):
15. Jack Fitzpatrick (Gonzaga College)
14. Rory Scholes (Campbell College)
13. Seamus Glynn (Presentation Brothers College Cork)
11. Mark Roche (Blackrock College)
10. Steve Crosbie (St. Gerard's School)
9. Luke McGrath (St. Michael's College) (capt)
1. Edward Byrne (Clongowes Wood College)
2. Andrew Murphy (St. Michael's College)
3. Adam Boland (Blackrock College)
4. Jerry Sexton (St. Mary's College)
5. Sean McCarthy (Rockwell College)
6. Dan Leavy (St. Michael's College)
7. Jack O'Neill (Castleknock College)
8. Ryan Murphy (Presentation Brothers College Cork)
16. Thomas Ferrari (Sligo Grammar School)
17. Chris Taylor (Wallace High School)
18. Brian Scott (Presentation Brothers College Cork)
19. Gavin Thornbury (Blackrock College)
20. John Creighton (Campbell College)
21. Rory Scannell (Presentation Brothers College Cork)
22. Conor McEllin (Blackrock College)
23. Stuart Hooks (Royal School Armagh)