Head coach Colin McEntee has selected the Ireland Under-19 team and replacements for Wednesday’s international encounter with England at Donnybrook (kick-off 1pm).
The Ireland Under-19 team will be captained Cistercian College Roscrea’s Sean O’Brien, who like many of his team-mates played for the Irish U-18 Schools side at last year’s FIRA/AER U-18 European Championship.
The selected back-line is dominated by Leinster players with Rory O’Loughlin of St. Michael’s and Old Belvedere’s Peter Robb combining in the centre.
Monivea clubman Caolin Blade and Gonzaga’s Conor McKeon will form the half-back partnership, and Ross Adair, who was part of the Ulster Under-20s’ Grand Slam success this season, will line out on the right wing.
Methody’s 2013 Ulster Schools Senior Cup-winning captain Ross Kane features in the front row, with skipper O’Brien and Ross Molony from St. Michael’s pairing up in the second row.
Ben Alexander and Jack O’Donoghue, two more players who gained experience in this year’s U-20 Interprovincial Championship, are part of a back row unit that includes Bedford Blues Academy member Joe Bercis.
The Irish replacements bench is largely made up of Schools players, the only club representative being outside back David Johnston who was a recent try scorer for UL Bohemians in the Ulster Bank League.
The visiting England squad is made of players from the professional club Academies. After Wednesday’s fixture, Colin McEntee’s young squad will play their French counterparts in Montargis on Saturday (kick-off 4.30pm local time/3.30pm Irish time).
IRELAND UNDER-19 Team & Replacements (v England Under-19 Academies, Under-19 International Match, Donnybrook, Wednesday, April 3, kick-off 1pm):
15 – Cian Kelleher (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
14 – Ross Adair (Queen’s University/Ulster)
13 – Rory O’Loughlin (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
12 – Peter Robb (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
11 – Ian Fitzpatrick (King’s Hospital/Leinster)
10 – Conor McKeon (Gonzaga College/Leinster)
9 – Caolin Blade (Monivea/Connacht)
1 – Ross Kane (Methodist College/Ulster)
2 – Max Abbott (PBC Cork/Munster)
3 – Saba Meunargia (Marist College/Connacht)
4 – Sean O’Brien (CC Roscrea/Connacht) (capt)
5 – Ross Molony (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
6 – Ben Alexander (Queen’s University/Ulster)
7 – Joe Bercis (Bedford Blues/Exile)
8 – Jack O’Donoghue (UL Bohemians/Munster)
16 – Shane Delahunt (Kilkenny College/Leinster)
17 – Jacob Walshe (CC Roscrea/Connacht)
18 – Rory Burke (CBC Cork/Munster)
19 – Darragh Moloney (CBC Cork/Munster)
20 – Jack O’Neill (Castleknock College/Leinster)
21 – Ryan Foley (CBC Cork/Munster)
22 – Rory Parata (Rockwell College/Connacht)
23 – David Johnston (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Management Team –
Head Coach – Colin McEntee
Team Manager – Barney McGonigle
Assistant Coach (Backs) – Nigel Carolan
Baggage Master – Pat Downey
Doctor – Tim O’Flanagan
Video Analyst – Vinny Hammond
Physio – Barry Smith
Strength & Conditioning Coach – Sami Dowling