The Ireland Under-20 team to play Wales in the penultimate round of the Under-20 RBS 6 Nations on Friday has been named.
Head coach Nigel Carolan has made four personnel changes and a positional switch to the side that lost 19-14 to England in their last outing.
Ciaran Gaffney, a member of last summer’s Junior World Championship squad, returns from a hamstring injury. The Galwegians clubman joins Billy Dardis and Stephen Fitzgerald in the back-three.
In the pack, a new-look second row partnership sees Cian Romaine promoted from the bench to pair up with Josh Murphy who makes the move from the back row.
Openside flanker Conor Oliver will make his first appearance of the tournament alongside his St. Mary’s College club-mate Nick Timoney (pictured below), who is promoted from the bench to fill the blindside berth.
The rejigged replacements include Andrew Porter and Jacob Stockdale, who both played for the Ireland Under-18 Schools team last season, and two other potential Under-20 debutants in Stephen McVeigh and Connor Young.
Previewing Friday’s game in Colwyn Bay, Carolan said: “It was disappointing to lose to England in the last round, but we have put that behind us now in preparation for Wales.
“We have addressed the key areas that were highlighted against England and hopefully we can take our chances when they come along. The Championship is still there for the taking and we look forward to getting our campaign back on track this Friday.”
Friday’s meeting of the Welsh and Irish Under-20s will be broadcast live on RTÉ Two (www.rte.ie/live (island of Ireland only)) on Friday, with coverage starting at 7.30pm).
IRELAND UNDER-20 Team & Replacements (v Wales Under-20s, 2015 Under-20 RBS 6 Nations, Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay, Friday, March 13, kick-off 7.45pm):
15. Billy Dardis (UCD/Leinster)
14. Ciaran Gaffney (Galwegians/Connacht)
13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster)
12. Sam Arnold (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
11. Stephen Fitzgerald (Shannon/Munster)
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. Cian Romaine (Buccaneers/Connacht)
5. Josh Murphy (UCD/Leinster)
6. Nick Timoney (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
7. Conor Oliver (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
8. Lorcan Dow (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster)
16. Adam McBurney (Ballymena/Ulster)
17. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster)
18. Conan O’Donnell (Sligo/NUIG/Connacht)
19. David O’Connor (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
20. Stephen McVeigh (Buccaneers/Connacht)
21. Connor Young (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster)
22. Joey Carbery (UCD/Leinster)
23. Jacob Stockdale (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster)
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/Results:
Friday, February 6: Italy U-20s 15 Ireland U-20s 47, Stadio Pozzi Lamarmora, Biella
Friday, February 13: Ireland U-20s 37 France U-20s 20, Dubarry Park
Friday, February 27: Ireland U-20s 14 England U-20s 19, Donnybrook
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