26 May, 20:35
Interim Ireland head coach Les Kiss has confirmed that back rower Peter O'Mahony will captain the squad for the summer tour to North America, following Rory Best's call-up to the British & Irish Lions squad.
The next step in the selection process will come when the four provincial squads embark on an Interprovincial series of matches against each other.
Following these matches, a squad of 40 players will be selected to attend a training camp on the weekend of October 31 to November 2.
With five of last year's squad - Dominic Gallagher (Ulster), Andrew Boyle and David Lynch (both Leinster), Aaron Spring and Mark Dolan (Connacht) - available again for selection for this year, the Irish U-18 management are looking forward to the Interpro series with great interest.
After two excellent years during which the team reached the FIRA-AER European Under-18 final on two occasions, the management team are well aware of the expectations and challenges that lie ahead.
They will strive to go one better when Ireland play in this year's tournament which will be held in the Cote D'Azure (France) from April 2 to 12 next.