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Six Returning Players To Start For Ireland Under-20s

Six Returning Players To Start For Ireland Under-20s

The Ireland Under-20 team, sponsored by PwC, to play their opening game of the U-20 RBS 6 Nations against Italy on Friday has been named.

New head coach Nigel Carolan has named an experienced side with six players from last year’s squad included in the starting line-up to play Italy.

Returning prop Oisin Heffernan will be joined by Jeremy Loughman and Zack McCall in the front row. David O’Connor and Alex Thompson link up in the second row, while Lorcan Dow (pictured below) combines with Josh Murphy and Rory Moloney in a strong looking back row combination.

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The half-back pairing has a familiar look to it as Nick McCarthy, this year’s Ireland Under-20 captain, partners his UCD and Leinster colleague Ross Byrne.

Garry Ringrose, who also makes a return to the side from last year, will be joined by Fergal Cleary in the centre. Jack Owens and Greg O’Shea are named on the wings and Billy Dardis fills the full-back position. 

Speaking ahead of his first competitive game in charge, Carolan said: “Any time you play an Italian side it is a fight, but it’s something players will need to adapt to. To play the opening game away from home is always a challenge, but we are focused and are looking forward to kicking off.”

IRELAND UNDER-20 Team & Replacements (v Italy Under-20s, 2015 Under-20 RBS 6 Nations, Stadio Pozzi Lamarmora, Biella, Friday, February 6, kick-off 7pm local time/6pm Irish time):

15. Billy Dardis (UCD/Leinster) *
14. Greg O’Shea (Shannon/Munster)
13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) *
12. Fergal Cleary (Lansdowne/Leinster)
11. Jack Owens (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster)
10. Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster)
9. Nick McCarthy (UCD/Leinster) (capt) *
1. Jeremy Loughman (UCD/Leinster)
2. Zack McCall (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster)
3. Oisin Heffernan (Terenure College/Leinster) *
4. David O’Connor (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
5. Alex Thompson (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster)
6. Josh Murphy (UCD/Leinster) *
7. Rory Moloney (Buccaneers/Connacht) *
8. Lorcan Dow (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster)
16. Adam McBurney (Ballymena/Ulster)
17. Michael Lagan (Ballymena/Ulster)
18. Conan O’Donnell (Sligo/NUIG/Connacht)
19. Cian Romaine (Buccaneers/Connacht)
20. Nick Timoney (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
21. Jack Cullen (Shannon/Munster) *
22. Joey Carbery (UCD/Leinster)
23. Sam Arnold (Ballynahinch/Ulster)

* Denotes previously capped at this level

IRELAND UNDER-20 Management Team –

Nigel Carolan – Head Coach
Colin McEntee – Assistant Coach/High Performance Manager
John Fogarty – Assistant Coach/Scrum Coach
Steven Aboud – Assistant Coach/Head of Technical Direction
Hendrik Kruger – Team Manager
Sinéad Bennett – Squad Co-ordinator
Garrett Coughlan – Physio
Will Duggan – Doctor
Eamonn Flanagan – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Lar Hogan – Baggage Master
Gareth Rossi – Massage Therapist
Jim Herring – Performance Analyst
Maria Boland – Media Officer

IRELAND UNDER-20s’ 2015 RBS 6 Nations Fixtures:

Friday, February 6: Italy U-20s v Ireland U-20s, Stadio Pozzi Lamarmora, Biella, 7pm local time/6pm Irish time
Friday, February 13: Ireland U-20s v France U-20s, Dubarry Park, 7.05pm
Friday, February 27: Ireland U-20s v England U-20s, Donnybrook, 7.05pm
Friday, March 13: Wales U-20s v Ireland U-20s, Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay, 7.45pm
Friday, March 20: Scotland U-20s v Ireland U-20s, Netherdale, Galashiels, 7.30pm