The Ireland Under-20s, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, were presented with the RBS U-20 6 Nations trophy in Dublin on Sunday, following the final game of the Championship between France and England.
Second-placed England needed a 47-point winning margin in order to knock Ireland off top spot. They recorded a victory but it was a slim one as they edged out the French on a 47-31 scoreline in Saint Nazaire.
That left Allen Clarke’s Ireland squad to celebrate a well-deserved title success as, with four wins from five games, they become the first Irish winners of the U-20 crown since the 2007 Grand Slam side.
The class of 2010, captained by flanker Rhys Ruddock, completed their campaign with a brilliant 44-15 victory over Scotland at Dubarry Park, which is now a recognised ‘fortress’ for the U-20 sides.
Congratulations to all of the players involved, the management team, which includes coaches Clarke, Nigel Carolan and Colin McEntee and team manager Michael Kearney, and the backroom staff.
Clarke said: “We are delighted to be champions. The win on Friday night over Scotland showcased the attitude and talent of the squad and to win the Championship is a tribute to the work ethic of the players and coaching staff.
“We can now look forward to the IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina in June and build on the work we have done here.
“From an Irish rugby point of view, this (success) reflects where our programmes are, it reflects the support of our schools and our clubs and our provinces.
“This isn’t just about the current management team – the management team are fantastic – this is a reflection of the whole of Irish rugby and where we are in terms of our pathways at the moment.”
IRELAND UNDER-20s – 2010 RBS U-20 6 NATIONS RESULTS:
IRELAND UNDER-20 SQUAD:
Backs (12) –
Andrew Conway (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
John Cooney (UCD/Leinster)
Eoin Griffin (Corinthians/Connacht)
Michael Heaney (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Darren Hudson (St. Mary’s College RFC/Leinster)
Brian Kingston (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Brendan Macken (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Gareth Quinn McDonogh (Shannon/Munster)
James McKinney (Queen’s University/Ulster)
David McSharry (UCD/Leinster)
Tiernan O’Halloran (Galwegians/Connacht)
Nevin Spence (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Forwards (14) –
Niall Annett (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Denis Buckley (Corinthians/Connacht)
Patrick Butler (Shannon/Munster)
Bryan Cagney (UCC/Munster)
David Doyle (UCD/Leinster)
Brian Hayes (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Stewart Maguire (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Ben Marshall (UCD/Leinster)
Jordi Murphy (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Robin O’Sullivan (Bective Rangers/Leinster)
David O’Callaghan (UCC/Munster)
Jack O’Connell (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Rhys Ruddock (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
Dominic Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster)