It’s all systems go for the Ireland Under 21 side ahead of their opening IRB World Cup clash with South Africa at Oxford RFC’s ground at Iffley Road.
It’s all systems go for the Ireland Under 21 side ahead of their opening IRB World Cup clash with South Africa at Oxford RFC’s ground at Iffley Road today (3pm). The pool stages will be played at three venues, Newbury RFC, Henley RFC and Iffley Road, Oxford, with the tournament semi-finals and final taking place at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford, on Wednesday, June 25th and Sunday, June 29th respectively. In all, 30 matches will be played over 16 days at the four different venues.
Ireland coach Michael Bradley has named a side that shows four changes from their last international outing – the final game in the championship against England. One of those changes has been forced on Bradley by the withdrawal of John Lyne whose place in the front-row now goes to Jason Moran, (UCD).
The other changes in the pack sees John Muldoon (Galwegians) preferred to Niall Ronan (Lansdowne) in the back-row and Neil McComb Dundee (Highschool) coming into the second row in place of Shane O’Connor.
In the back-line, Glen Telford (Instonians) comes into the centre to partner Barry Murphy (UL Bohemians) with Keith Matthews (UL Bohemians) switching to the right wing which means Richard Lane (UCC) slips down to the bench.
Explaining the changes, manager David Haslett stresses it’s very much a question of, “horses for courses because we feel we need a very strong physical presence for this game. For example, in the back row it was a case of two from three at six between Muldoon, Ronan and Potts, with John (Muldoon) getting the nod but I’d expect Niall (Ronan) will be called on at some stage.
The Ireland squad had a 45 minute run-out yesterday at the Oratory School which is located near their Reading hotel. They’ll have a light exercise drill this morning before lunch at 11.45 and then set off on the 50 minute journey to the match venue at Iffley Road, Oxford.
Ireland U21 (v South Africa).
Iffley Road, Oxford RFC, 3pm.
15. Tommy Bowe – Queens University
14. Keith Matthews – UL Bohemians
13. Barry Murphy – UL Bohemians
12. Glen Telford – Instonians
11. John Hearty – Blackrock College
10. Michael Rainey – Glasgow Hawks
9. Fiach O’Loughlin – Shannon
1. Jason Moran – UCD
2. Rory Best – Belfast Harlequins
3. Declan Fitzpatrick – Belfast Harlequins
4. David Gannon – UCD
5. Neil McComb – Dundee Highschool
6. John Muldoon – Galwegians
7. Ciaran Potts – St. Mary’s College
8. Stephen Keogh – UCC Captain
16. Kevin Corrigan – UCD
17. Eugene Mc Govern – Old Crescent
18. Simon Crawford – UCD
19. Niall Ronan – Lansdowne
20. Conor O’Loughlin – Buccaneers
21. David McAllister – Terenure College
22. Richard Lane – UCC.
MJ Mentz; A Bock, B Ferreira, L Uys, B Buys; S Swart, E Januarie; JD Moller, D Britz, N Fullard, G Gilfillan, R Skeate, S Burger, H Haupt, J Cronte.
Referee – Rob Debney (Eng).