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Ireland Name Team For Under-18 Festival Opener

Ireland Name Team For Under-18 Festival Opener

PBC Cork’s Brian O’Hara will have the honour of leading out the Ireland Under-18 Schools team in his hometown when they play Wales tomorrow evening in their first game of the 2008 U-18 Six Nations Festival at Musgrave Park.

The game is the first of three fixtures for Ireland in a Festival which brings the top age grade players together from the Six Nations.

There have been two changes to the Ireland squad that was originally announced for the Festival with both Ray Crotty and Nevin Spence pulling out due to injury. They have been replaced by Craig O’Hanlon and Gavin Nugent.

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The Ireland team selected for the Wales game is a strong side and will be coached by Peter Melia, who is looking forward to the start of the Festival.

Melia said: “The next week promises to be a great occasion for the local Cork and Irish sporting public. The squad is very excited about playing at home in the Festival and while being the home team brings its own pressures, we are really encouraged by the enthusiasm among the players.

“The Festival is about focusing on the experience for the players of performing at international level and hopefully we can start the Festival with a positive result. Wales are traditionally very strong at this level and the squad will have to be at its very best to win tomorrow evening.”

The Festival itself will see the national Under-18 teams from England, Ireland, France, Italy, Scotland and Wales play a series of matches at Musgrave Park, Cork Constitution FC, the Mardyke (UCC) and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) from March 26 until April 1. 

Admission to all the matches is free and information on fixtures, results, teams and other news from the Festival will be available on www.IrishRugby.ie/u18festival.

IRELAND UNDER-18 SCHOOLS TEAM & REPLACEMENTS (v Wales, 2008 Under-18 Six Nations Festival, Musgrave Park, Wednesday, March 26, kick-off 7.30pm):

15 – Noel Reid (St. Michael’s College)

14 – Craig O’Hanlon (St. Munchin’s College)

13 – Michael Allen (Methodist College Belfast)

12 – Diarmuid McCarthy (Castletroy Community College)

11 – Mark Atkinson (Grosvenor Grammar School)

10 – Luke Marshall (Ballymena Academy)

9 – David O’Driscoll (Presentation Brothers College Cork)

1 – Denis Buckley (Blackrock College)

2 – Niall Annett (Methodist College Belfast)

3 – Jack O’Connell (Clongowes Wood College)

4 – Brian Hayes (Christian Brothers College Cork)

5 – Ben Marshall (St. Andrew’s College)

6 – Dominic Ryan (Gonzaga College)

7 – Brian O’Hara (Presentation Brothers College Cork) (capt)

8 – David O’Callaghan (Midleton College)


16 – Risteard Byrne (Terenure College)

17 – Brian Cagney (Presentation Brothers College Cork)

18 – Martin Moore (Castleknock College)

19 – Patrick Butler (Rockwell College)

20 – Michael Kelleher (St. Munchin’s College)

21 – Richard Bent (St. Mary’s College)

22 – David McSharry (Templeogue College)

23 – Paul Pritchard (Ballymena Academy)

24 – Gavin Nugent (Presentation Brothers College Cork)

25 – Jason Bloomfield (Coleraine Academical Institution)

26 – James McKinney (Campbell College)


Manager – Lorcan Balfe

Coach – Peter Melia

Assistant Coach – Paul Barr

Doctor – Ossie Fogarty

Physio – David Lyons

Tournament Schedule:

Wednesday, March 26 –

England U-18s v Italy U-18s, Temple Hill, Cork, 5pm

France U-18s v Scotland U-18s, Cork Institute of Technology, 5pm

Ireland U-18s v Wales U-18s, Musgrave Park, Cork, 7.30pm

Saturday, March 29 –

England U-18s v France U-18s, Cork Institute of Technology, 2.30pm

Ireland U-18s v Scotland U-18s, Musgrave Park, Cork, 2.30pm

Italy U-18s v Wales U-18s, Mardyke, Cork, 2.30pm

Tuesday, April 1 –

Ireland U-18s v Italy U-18s, Mardyke, Cork, 2.30pm

Scotland U-18s v England U-18s, Musgrave Park, Cork, 2.30pm

Wales U-18s v France U-18s, Temple Hill, Cork, 2.30pm