The Ireland Under-18 Clubs squad will this season play three international matches, with the Ireland Under-18 Schools side set to compete in the newly-revamped FIRA-AER Under-18 European Championship.
The Ireland Under-18 Clubs team will play Germany in their first international match in Berlin this Saturday. The match will take place at SC Berliner, with a kick-off time of 2pm (local time).
The selected Ireland squad contains three players who played in last year’s FIRA-AER Under-18 European Championship final against France – Ireland’s third tournament final in five years.
They are lock and captain Eoghan Masterson (Portlaoise), centre Thomas Daly (Carlow) and flanker Akhlaque Khan (Navan).
Head coach Greg Lynch is in no doubt that this first outing against Germany will prove a tough opener for his young side.
Germany are one of the most improved squads at Under-18 level, having been promoted from the second division of the FIRA-AER Championship two years ago.
They cemented their place in the top division with a strong performance in last year’s tournament in Treviso.
This will be the second occasion that these two nations have met at this level. Last season Ireland defeated Germany 20-11 in a tough first round match.
The benefits of the IRFU dual pathway at Clubs and Schools level can be seen when one looks at the players who have represented the Ireland Under-20s in this year’s Six Nations.
Mike Ruddock’s U-20 squad contained nine players who first emerged on the international scene when they played for the Ireland U-18 Clubs team. Two of these players played for last year’s U-18 Clubs side – prop Tadhg Furlong and full-back Michael Sherlock.
IRELAND UNDER-18 CLUBS Squad (v Germany Under-18s, SC Berliner, Saturday, March 27, kick-off 2pm local time/1pm Irish time):
Liam Bourke (Navan/Leinster)
Kieran Butler (New Ross/Leinster)
Adam Byrne (Naas/Leinster)
Thomas Daly (Carlow/Leinster)
Jamie Dever (Westport/Connacht)
Ultan Dillane (Tralee/Munster)
Conal Doherty (City of Derry/Ulster)
Peter Dooley (Birr/Leinster)
Conor Fitzgibbon (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Tom Flynn (Epsom Coll/Cobham RFC/Exiles)
Ryan Furniss (Worcester Coll/Worcester Warriors/Exiles)
Cronan Gleeson (Nenagh/Munster)
Conor Joyce (Solihull Sch/Leicester Tigers/Exiles)
Akhlaque Khan (Navan/Leinster)
Finnbarr McGowan (Longford/Leinster)
Eoghan Masterson (Portlaoise/Leinster)
George McGuigan (Gosforth Academy/Newcastle Falcons/Exiles)
Sean O’Brien (Galwegians/Connacht)
Dave O’Connell (Old Christians/Munster)
Josh O’Rourke (DLSP/Leinster)
David Panter (St. Paul’s Coll/London Irish/Exiles)
Eoin Stynes (Carlow/Leinster)
Cillian Walsh (Killarney/Munster)
Ireland Management Team:
Willie Gribben – Manager
Greg Lynch – Head Coach
Jimmy Duffy – Assistant Coach (Forwards)
Wayne Mitchell – Assistant Coach (Backs)
Joe McGinley – Conditioning Coach
Brett Igoe – Video Analyst
David Hanly – Physiotherapist
John Quinlan – Doctor
Tom Nyhan – Team Assistant