The Ireland Under-18 Clubs team, sponsored by PwC, to play Italy Under-18s at Ashbourne RFC on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm) has been announced.
Under head coach Wayne Mitchell and assistant coaches Brendan O’Connor and Jamie Turkington, the Ireland Under-18 Clubs squad will play three games this season with the match against Italy up first.
Exiles player Niall Saunders starts at scrum half and will be partnered by Skerries’ Ciaran Frawley at half-back.
Buccaneers’ Luke Carty and Mullingar’s Sean O’Brien make up the centre pairing, while Navan’s Conor Nash, Cill Dara’s Peter Howard and Irish Exile Otto Gray make up the backthree.
Up front Wexford Wanderers’ Greg McGrath, Kilkenny’s Ben Devlin and Ian McCarthy from Highfield form the front row with Enniscorthy’s Joe Carley and Jack Regan of Birr named in the second row.
Navan pair Conor Hand and Conor Farrell join Gorey’s Paul Boyle in the back row to complete the pack.
The Ireland Under-18 Clubs squad will compete in an International Triangular Festival, along with hosts England and France, to be held at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire in April.
Gates open at Ashbourne RFC at 1pm on Saturday afternoon with tickets costing €;5 for adults and there is free entry for children.
IRELAND UNDER-18 CLUBS Team & Replacements (v Italy Under-18s, Under-18 International Match, Ashbourne RFC, Saturday, February 21, kick-off 2.30pm):
15. Conor Nash (Navan/Leinster)
14. Peter Howard (Cill Dara/Leinster)
13. Luke Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht)
12. Sean O’Brien (Mullingar/Leinster)
11. Otto Gray (Canford School/Exiles)
10. Ciaran Frawley (Skerries/Leinster)
9. Niall Saunders (Harlequins/Epsom College/Exiles)
1. Greg McGrath (Wexford Wanderers/Leinster)
2. Ben Devlin (Kilkenny/Leinster)
3. Ian McCarthy (Highfield/Munster)
4. Joe Carley (Enniscorthy/Leinster)
5. Jack Regan (Birr/Leinster)
6. Conor Hand (Navan/Leinster)
7. Conor Farrell (Navan/Leinster) (capt)
8. Paul Boyle (Gorey/Leinster)
16. Tadgh McElroy (Dundalk/Leinster)
17. Eoin Corcoran (Longford/Leinster)
18. Jack Aungier (Suttonians/Leinster)
19. Dylan Reeves Wasik (Bruff/Munster)
20. Matthew Burke (Ballinrobe/Connacht)
21. Jack Combes (Hartpury College/Exiles)
22. Darragh Cummins (Sligo/Connacht)
23. Dom Gorard (Ealing Trailfinders/St. Benedict’s/Exiles)
* Birr’s Christopher Maloney is named in the squad as the 24th man
Ireland Under-18 Clubs Management –
Head Coach – Wayne Mitchell
Assistant Coach – Brendan O’Connor
Assistant Coach – Jamie Turkington
Manager – Dermot Kelly
Scrum Coach – Seamus Toomey
Strength & Conditioning Coach – Adam Sheehan
Analyst – Brian Fitzgerald
Doctor – Padraig Sheeran
Physio – Damien Mordon
Baggage Master – Mo Dempsey
Squad Co-ordinator – Sinéad Bennett
Ireland Under-18 Clubs Fixtures –
Saturday, February 21: Ireland U-18 Clubs v Italy U-18s, Ashbourne RFC, 2.30pm
International Triangular Festival:
Wednesday, April 1: Ireland U-18 Clubs v France U-18s, Hartpury College, 2pm
Saturday, April 4: England U-18 Counties v Ireland U-18 Clubs, Hartpury College, 11am