The Irish Under-18 Schools squad, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, to take part in the Five Nations Schools Festival, which will be hosted in Parma, Italy this year, has been named.
The Festival, which last year was hosted by the IRFU in Cork, is a hugely popular event bringing together teams from five of the six nations (France are not taking part this year).
Ireland will play games against Wales, Italy and England. The Paul Barr-coached squad will be based in Parma, and all the games take place in the Parma region of northern Italy.
This Festival is an important opportunity for the Irish Schools players to compete against the best European players at this age grade.
The last few weekends have seen the culmination of preparations that began last April with provincial screening of prospective players.
Players were nominated to participate in the provincial Summer Programmes, which focused on skills, decision-making and physical conditioning.
Schools interprovincial games took place in October and following two squad weekends, the Ireland Under-18 Schools squad played against Italy U-18 in Viadana in December, with the Irish winning 18-15.
All players were monitored during the provincial Cup campaigns, with national squads organised for players when they were eliminated from their respective cup competition.
The squad is looking forward to testing its rugby skills on the international stage.
IRELAND UNDER-18 SCHOOLS SQUAD (Five Nations Under-18 Festival, Parma, Italy, April 12-18):
Niall Annett (Methodist College/Ulster)
Shane Buckley (Rockwell College/Munster)
Conor Carey (Methodist College/Ulster)
Chris Colvin (Royal School Armagh/Ulster)
Andrew Conway (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Sam Coughlan Murray (Newbridge College/Leinster)
Harry Doyle (Royal School Armagh/Ulster)
David Doyle (Gonzaga College/Leinster)
Peter du Toit (King’s Hospital/Leinster)
Rory Harrison (Methodist College/Ulster)
Alex Kelly (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
Stephen Leckey (Methodist College/Ulster)
Brendan Macken (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Colin Mallon (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
Paddy Marks (RBAI/Ulster)
Luke Marshall (Ballymena Academy/Ulster)
James McKinney (Campbell College/Ulster)
Martin Moore (Castleknock College/Leinster)
Jordi Murphy (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Tiernan O’Halloran (Cistercian Roscrea/Leinster)
David O’Mahony (Presentation College/Munster)
Gareth Quinn McDonagh (Crescent CC/Munster)
Ben Sargent (Crescent CC/Munster)
Niall Scannell (Presentation College/Munster)
Aaron Spring (Sligo Grammar School/Connacht)
James Tracy (Newbridge College/Leinster)
Manager – Lorcan Balfe
Coach – Paul Barr
Assistant Coach – Kenny Hooks
Ireland Under-18 Schools Fixtures –
Sunday, April 12 (Wales v Ireland) Parma kick-off 4.30pm
Wednesday, April 15 (Italy v Ireland) Parma kick-off 4.30pm
Saturday, April 18 (England v Ireland) Colorno kick-off 4pm
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