The Ireland Under-20 team (sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers) to play France in their second match of the RBS Under-20 Six Nations championship shows one change to the side that beat Italy in Athlone last Friday.
Full-back Niall Morris has been ruled out of the game due to an ankle injury and his place has been taken by Sean Scanlon, who moves into the starting team from the replacements. Scanlon’s elevation sees Conor Cleary called up for bench duty.
Ireland coach Eric Elwood said: “Last week’s match may not have been the prettiest game, but the guys stuck it out and showed great character to get past the Italians in the end.
“We felt that the selection should reflect that level of performance and have gone with an unchanged side, with the exception of Niall’s injury. Hopefully we will have a drier track to go on this week to allow us move the ball a bit more and not get caught up in playing from ruck to ruck.
“France offer a similar challenge this week in the physical stakes as Italy did, but will no doubt have that bit more pace in attack, so again it is a case of meeting them head on and getting a good start to the game.
“I thought our pack played particularly well last week, so another performance of that calibre is required if we are to compete with the French side.”
IRELAND UNDER-20 TEAM AND REPLACEMENTS (v France U-20s, RBS U-20 Six Nations, Stadium Jacques Fouroux, Auch, Friday, February 8, kick-off 6.30pm local time):
15 – Sean Scanlon UCC/Munster
14 – David Kearney Lansdowne/Leinster
13 – Eoin O’Malley Old Belvedere/Leinster
12 – Eamonn Sheridan Lansdowne/Leinster
11 – Chris Cochrane Queens University/Ulster
10 – Martin Dufficy Dublin University/Leinster
9 – David Moore Blackrock College RFC/Leinster
1 – Paul Karayiannis Queen’s University/Ulster
2 – Stephen Douglas Ballymena/Ulster
3 – Ben Barclay UCD/Leinster
4 – David Nolan Galwegians/Connacht
5 – Eoin Sheriff Lansdowne/Leinster
6 – Kieran Essex UL Bohemians/Munster
7 – Paul Ryan Blackrock College RFC/Leinster (capt)
8 – Patrick Mallon Lansdowne/Leinster
16 – Jason Harris-Wright Greystones/Leinster
17 – Stephen Archer UCC/Munster
18 – James Sandford Queen’s University/Ulster
19 – Ian Nagle UCC/Munster
20 – Kris Greene St. Mary’s College/Leinster
21 – Ian Madigan Blackrock College RFC/Leinster
22 – Conor Cleary Greystones/Leinster
Manager: Phil Orr
Coach: Eric Elwood
Assistant Coach: Dan McFarland
Under-20 Six Nations Fixtures
France U-20s v Ireland U-20s, Friday, February 8, Stadium Jacques Fouroux, Auch, 6.30pm local time
Ireland U-20s v Scotland U-20s, Friday, February 22, Dubarry Park, Athlone, 7.30pm
Ireland U-20s v Wales U-20s, Friday, March 7, Dubarry Park, Athlone, 7.35pm (live RTE TV)
England U-20s v Ireland U-20s, Friday, March 14, Kingsholm, Gloucester, 7.45pm