While much of the current focus is on the Ireland senior squad and their imminent departure to France for the World Cup, some future Irish internationals could be on view at the Sportsground and Dr. Hickey Park over the coming days as the 2007 IRFU Under-19 and Under-20 Interprovincial championships kick off.
A number of Ireland Youths, Under-18 and Under-19 caps will see action in this season’s championships, including Blackrock and Leinster back rower Paul Ryan who captained Ireland at the 2007 IRB U-19 World Championships.
Preparations for many of the squads began back in June, with the Ulster Under-20s enjoying a four-day training camp at the Masserene Army base and successful warm-up matches against Instonians, Coleraine and the Ulster Under-19 team.
Log onto IrishRugby.ie for full coverage of the championships – match reports, reaction and profiles – over the coming weeks.
The opening games of the championships will see an enticing Leinster v Ulster double-header take place at Dr. Hickey Park, the home of Greystones RFC, while the Sportsground will stage the Connacht-Munster clashes today and tomorrow.
2007 IRFU UNDER-19 INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP:
Saturday, September 1 – LEINSTER v ULSTER, Dr. Hickey Park, 2pm
Leinster: Eoghan Conran; Robert Johnson, Shane Gahan, Matt Keville, Colm Brady; Ian McKinley, Matt Healy; Ronan Donnelly, David Tunney, Raymond Dufficy, Nick Mullen, Mark Flanagan, Steve Mahony (capt), Alex Byrne, Daragh Maher.
Replacements (from): Ben Harrison, George Beatty, Greg Whately, Max Waters, Ciaran Smith, John Dever, Rory Stynes, James Murray, Ciaran Donohoe, Ian Morley.
Ulster Squad: Backs – Michael Sargent, Sam Bell, Peter Henderson, Robin Thompson, David Nicholson, Kyle Kirkpatrick, David Funston (capt), Matthew Arneill, Peter Elliot, David McIlwaine.
Forwards – Alan Whitten, Michael Cromie, Richard McNeely, Paul Jackson, Paul Ross, Mark McDowell, Paul Rea, Chris McCracken, Gareth Hooks, Jamie Lusk, Mark Jones, Michael Browne.
Saturday, September 1- CONNACHT v MUNSTER, The Sportsground, 1pm
Connacht: Lee Keegan; Shane O’Connor, Trevor Nally, James O’Beirne, Cian Moyles; Eric Flynn, Bernie Ward; Martin Nee, Karl Egan, James Robinson, Fergus Moyles, Dave Hansbury, Dave Ott, Liam Carpenter, Mattie Flynn.
Replacements: Denis Buckley, Tom English, Jason Barrett, Greg Leader, Peter Walsh, Joe Ryan, Rory O’Connor.
Munster: Ronan O’Mahoney; Odhran Mulrooney, Danny Barnes, Andrew Joyce, Paul Gleeson; Colm Downes, Conor Murray; Gavin Duffy, David Twomey, Felix Ross, Mike Linehan, Ian Duffy, James Flood, Paddy Cleary, James Ryan (capt).
Replacements: Shane Walsh, Andrew Cudmore, Darren Kavanagh, Leon Toland, Darren Mulcair, Alex O’Mahony, Michael Kelliher.
2007 IRFU UNDER-20 INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP:
Friday, August 31 – CONNACHT v MUNSTER, The Sportsground, 5pm
Connacht: Alan Gaughan; Aengus O’Connell, Billy Henshaw, David Clarke, Killian McDonagh; Robert O’Beirne, Cathal Sheridan; Jason East, Stanley Hayes, Conor Higgins, Joe Moran, David Nolan, John Southern, Dermot Murphy, Trevor Conneely (capt).
Replacements: Barry Gibbons, Peter Comisky, Niall Harney, Martin Cummins, Andrew Sherry, Ross Shaughnessy, Cian Moyles.
Munster: Ritchie Mullane; Sean Scanlon, Murray Kinsella, Scott Deasy, John Verling; Andrew Burke, Eoghan Kennedy; John Ryan, Mike Sherry, Steve Archer, Ian Nagle, Dave Foley, Liam Og Murphy, James O’Neill, Kieran Essex.
Replacements (from): Matt Kearney, David Kilcoyne, John Griffin, John Noonan, Noel Kinnane, Diarmuid Upton, Declan Cusack, Mark Cosgrove, Diarmuid McMahon.
Saturday, September 1 – LEINSTER v ULSTER, Dr. Hickey Park, 4pm
Leinster: Niall Morris; David Kearney, Shane Rogers, Conor Cleary, Eamon Sheridan; Ian Madigan, David Moore; Ian Leonard, Jason Harris Wright, Patrick McCabe, Eoin Sheriff, Brian Cawley, Jonathan Slattery, Paul Ryan (capt), Patrick Mallon.
Replacements: Ciaran Egan, Ben Barclay, Daniel Kenny, Rajan Reilly, Kris Greene, Mark Geraghty, David Mongan.
Ulster: Tommy Seymour; Stuart Lester, Jamie Smith, William Stewart, Chris Cochrane; Harry McAleese, Michael Wilson; Paul Karayiannis, Stephen Douglas (capt), Mathew Nelson, Patrick McGowan, James Sandford, Alistair Birch, Michael Entwhistle, James Elliott.
Replacements: David Halliday, Connor Browne, David Bradford, Neil Alcorn, David Johnston, Will Martin, Andy Moore.