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Ireland U-20 Team To Play France

Ireland U-20 Team To Play France

The Ireland Under-20 team and replacements, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, to play France in the opening game of the IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina has been named.

Ireland head coach Allen Clarke has named the same starting line-up that took on Scotland back in March when they sealed the RBS 6 Nations U-20 Championship title with a 44-15 win.

Flanker Rhys Ruddock will again captain the team, having led them to victory over Italy, Wales, England and Scotland already this season.

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The Irish replacements bench includes the fit-again Brian O’Hara and Noel Reid who did not feature in the Six Nations, along with winger Darren Hudson who scored four tries during the Championship.

Looking forward to Saturday’s opener against France, who beat Ireland 20-15 in Mazamet in February, Ruddock said: “We can’t wait. We’ve been working towards this for a long time, since the end of the Six Nations.

“It’ll just be good to get the first game underway, put a few things to bed and have a cut at France.

“I suppose there’s expectations of us to do well in the tournament, because we performed well in the Six Nations.

“We’re in a very tough group, three really difficult games to start off. Any of the teams are capable of beating each other.

“Although there’s expectations, there’s a sort of realistic understanding that it could go either way in any of the games.”

Ireland’s pool fixtures in Argentina will be broadcast live on Setanta Sports Ireland and Sky Sports, with coverage also available on the official tournament website.

IRELAND UNDER-20 Team & Replacements (v France, IRB Junior World Championship, Estadio El Coloso del Parque, Rosario, Saturday, June 5, kick-off 2.10pm local time/6.10pm Irish time):

15 – Andrew Conway (Blackrock College/Leinster)
14 – Tiernan O’Halloran (Galwegians/Connacht)
13 – Eoin Griffin (Corinthians/Connacht)
12 – Nevin Spence (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
11 – Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster)
10 – James McKinney (Queen’s University/Ulster)
9 – John Cooney (UCD/Leinster)
1 – Jack O’Connell (Lansdowne/Leinster)
2 – Niall Annett (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
3 – Stewart Maguire (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
4 – David O’Callaghan (UCC/Munster)
5 – Ben Marshall (UCD/Leinster)
6 – Rhys Ruddock (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
7 – Dominic Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
8 – Patrick Butler (Shannon/Munster)


16 – David Doyle (UCD/Leinster)
17 – Bryan Cagney (UCC/Munster)
18 – Brian Hayes (Cork Constitution/Munster)
19 – Brian O’Hara (UL Bohemians/Munster)
20 – Michael Heaney (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
21 – Noel Reid (UCD/Leinster)
22 – Darren Hudson (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)


Saturday, June 5: Ireland v France, Estadio El Coloso del Parque, Rosario, 2.10pm local time (6.10pm Irish time)

Wednesday, June 9: Ireland v England, Estadio El Coloso del Parque, Rosario, 2.10pm local time (6.10pm Irish time)

Sunday, June 13: Argentina v Ireland, Estadio El Coloso del Parque, Rosario, 4.10pm local time (8.10pm Irish time)