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Ulster Under-20s Begin Defence Of Interpro Crown

Ulster Under-20s Begin Defence Of Interpro Crown

The stars of the future will be on show at Donnybrook and Ravenhill tonight as the IRFU Under-20 Interprovincial Championship gets underway. Ulster, the defending champions, host Munster in the opening round, while Connacht make the trip to Dublin to face Leinster.



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ULSTER U-20s v MUNSTER U-20s, Ravenhill, 7pm

LEINSTER U-20s v CONNACHT U-20s, Donnybrook, 7.30pm

The current Ulster Under-20 squad will be looking to replicate the success that the province achieved last season, claiming their first interprovincial title at Under-20 level in eight years.

They have already posted a warm-up victory, storming to a 45-0 win over the Exiles at Queen’s University on August 21.

Last year’s Ulster Schools Senior Cup final captain, Josh Atkinson, starts in the back row with Ross Kane named on the replacements bench.

Other Schools Cup winners from last year include Michael Lagan at hooker and Josh Bingham at out-half. It will be a big night for Exiles back rower Frankie Taggart who will captain the Ulster side.

All support would be greatly appreciated. Ravenhill gates open at 6pm, tickets are priced £7 for adults and £4 for Under-18s and students. Car parking within the Ravenhill stadium grounds is free on the night.

Munster Under-20 head coach Greig Oliver has named his squad for the opening encounter in Belfast, with Academy and Ireland Under-20 player Jack O’Donoghue captaining the side.

O’Donoghue’s Academy colleagues David Johnston and Gearoid Lyons are also named in the squad, with Ireland Under-19 international Johnston starting at full-back and Lyons named among the replacements.

The Munster Under-20s’ campaign presents a tough challenge for their young squad with two games on the road against Ulster and Connacht and a home tie against Leinster at Thomond Park on Friday, September 13.

ULSTER U-20: Rob Haldane (Malone): David Busby (Queen’s University), Ross Adair (Ballynahinch), Mark Best (Belfast Harlequins), Jacob Knight (Exiles); Josh Bingham (Methodist College), Conor Young (Durham University); Jonny Craig (Queen’s University Belfast), Michael Lagan (Methodist College), James Leary (Newcastle University), Michael Campbell (Queen’s University), Scott Barr (Brighton University), Frankie Taggart (Exiles/Belfast Harlequins) (capt), Josh Atkinson (Instonians), Lorcan Dow (Exiles/Queen’s University).

Replacements: Patrick Finlay (Trinity College), Darryl Morton (Armagh), Ross Kane (Malone), Alex Thompson (Methodist College), Ben Alexander (Malone), Michael Rainey (Malone), Paddy Colhoun (Queen’s University), Conor McKee (Methodist College). 

MUNSTER U-20: David Johnston (UL Bohemians); Alex Wootton (Exiles), Dan Goggin (Young Munster), Ned Hodson (UCC), Adrian Enright (UL Bohemians); Shane Airey (UL Bohemians), Ryan Foley (Cork Constitution); Mike Lynch (St. Senan’s/UL Bohemians), Max Abbott (Cork Constitution), Rory Burke (Cork Constitution), Patrick Kearns (Shannon), Darragh Moloney (Cork Constitution), Lee Nicholas (Shannon), Aidan Butler (Shannon), Jack O’Donoughue (UL Bohemians) (capt).

Replacements: Ben Burns (UCC), Sean McGee (Shannon), James Maxwell (Cashel), Tadhg Arrigan (UCC), Sonny Dwyer (Cork Constitution), Aaron Atkinson (UCC), Gearoid Lyons (Shannon), Sam Sterling (UL Bohemians).

Adam Byrne and Peadar Timmins, two members of the Ireland Under-20s’ Junior World Championship squad in the summer, will line out for Leinster in their Interprovincial Championship opener at Donnybrook.

The selected Leinster side also includes a number of players who starred during last season’s Schools Senior Cup campaign – that list is topped by centre Gary Ringrose, who scored 15 points in Blackrock College’s final win in March.

Seven UCD players will start against Connacht, with the team captained by Ireland Under-19 second row Ross Moloney and Timmins given the nod as vice-captain.

The Leinster U-20s warmed up for the Championship with a 20-13 victory over the Leicester Academy in Ashbourne RFC.

Connacht Under-20 head coach Jimmy Duffy has named a strong squad for their opening Interprovincial fixture against Leinster.

The westerners’ extended panel have been put through their paces since early July and have come through a very intense summer programme.

Last year’s captain, Galwegians starlet Sean O’Brien, will again take the reigns having also led the Ireland Under-19s during the spring. 

O’Brien is joined in the front five by four Buccaneers clubmen, including props Jacob Walshe and Saba Meunargia, while Monivea’s Caolin Blade combines with Sean O’Hagan from Corinthians at half-back.

Another player to watch out for is right winger Matthew Mellotte who linked up with NUIM Barnhall last year as part of the rugby scholarship programme.

Mellotte, who started playing rugby aged four with Westport RFC, lined out for the Blue Bulls as they won promotion to Ulster Bank League Division 2A last season and he was part of the Barnhall Under-21s’ JP Flanagan Premier League-winning side.

Connacht will complete their campaign with consecutive home games against Ulster and Munster on Friday, September 13 and Friday, September 20 at the Sportsground.

LEINSTER U-20: Billy Dardis (UCD); Cian Kelleher (Lansdowne), Adam Byrne (UCD), Gary Ringrose (Blackrock College), Ian Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne); Ross Byrne (UCD), Nick McCarthy (St. Michael’s College); Ivan Soroka (Belvedere College), Dylan Donnellan (UCD), Oisin Heffernan (Lansdowne), Ross Molony (UCD) (capt), Stephen Gardiner (Lansdowne), Josh Murphy (UCD), Michael Triggs (Lansdowne), Peader Timmins (UCD).

Replacements: Shane Delahunt (Lansdowne), Denis Coulson (Lansdowne), Craig Trenier (Terenure College), Stephen Keelan (Clongowes Wood College), Sean Coughlan (Blackrock College), Charlie Rock (Old Belvedere), Conor McKeon (Lansdowne), Stephen O’Neill (Terenure College).

CONNACHT U-20: Eoghan O’Reilly (Buccaneers); Matthew Mellotte (NUIM Barnhall), Rory Parata (Galwegians), Andrew McAleer (Westport), Mark O’Keefe (Old Belvedere); Sean O’Hagan (Corinthians), Caolin Blade (Monivea); Jacob Walshe (Buccaneers), Scott Flanagan (Buccaneers), Saba Meunargia (Buccaneers), Josh O’Rourke (Buccaneers), Sean O’Brien (Galwegians) (capt), Sam McCormack (Westport), Rory Moloney (Buccaneers), Jack Dineen (Galwegians).

Replacements: Conor Duffy (UCD), Dan McCardle (Galwegians), Andrew Barr (Old Belvedere), Shane Boyle (UL Bohemians), Eddie Earle (Galwegians), Conor Kerins (Sligo), Ben Carty (Buccaneers), Charlie Ryan (Cill Dara).


Friday, September 13

MUNSTER U-20s v LEINSTER U-20s, Thomond Park, 7.30pm

CONNACHT U-20s v ULSTER U-20s, the Sportsground, 3pm


Friday, September 20

LEINSTER U-20s v ULSTER U-20s, Donnybrook, 7pm

CONNACHT U-20s v MUNSTER U-20s, the Sportsground, 3pm

Related Links –

Grand Slam Glory For Ulster Under-20s

Connacht Under-20s Celebrate Grand Slam Success