Ireland Under-18 Schools head coach Noel McNamara has finalised his team to take on Georgia in Friday’s quarter-final clash at the Rugby Europe U-18 European Championship in France.
There are four personnel changes and a positional switch to the Ireland U-18 Schools side that lost 21-13 to Scotland in last Saturday’s warm-up game in Dundee.
Colm Hogan (Glenstal Abbey), Jack Kelly (St. Michael’s College) and Jack Lyons (Crescent College Limerick) have been added to the back-line, with Hogan starting at full-back and Kelly joining Cistercian College Roscrea’s Leinster Senior Cup-winning captain Tim Foley in the centre.
Lyons links up with Ireland skipper Bill Johnston at half-back, renewing their partnership from the Munster U-18 Schools side’s successful Interpro campaign, while Hogan’s inclusion sees Robert Lyttle from Methody move to the left wing.
Campbell College’s Daniel Kealey gets the nod at loosehead prop, forming an all-Ulster front row with Sullivan Upper duo Conor McEvoy and Peter Cooper.
The second row and back row combinations are unchanged from the Scottish game. Cillian Gallagher (Summerhill College Sligo) (pictured above) and Oisin Dowling (St. Michael’s College) are the starting locks, and number 8 John Foley from St. Munchin’s is flanked by Leinster U-18 Schools XV pair Caelan Doris and Jonny Guy.
Ireland kick off the tournament against Georgia in Montauban on Friday night (kick-off 7pm local time/6pm Irish time). The winners of that game will progress to the Elite semi-finals where they will face either Wales or Italy next Tuesday.
IRELAND UNDER-18 SCHOOLS Team & Replacements (v Georgia Under-18s, 2015 Rugby Europe Under-18 European Championship Elite Quarter-Final, Montauban, France, Friday, March 27, kick-off 7pm local time/6pm Irish time):
15. Colm Hogan (Glenstal Abbey)
14. Calvin Nash (Crescent College Limerick)
13. Jack Kelly (St. Michael’s College)
12. Tim Foley (Cistercian College Roscrea)
11. Robert Lyttle (Methodist College Belfast)
10. Bill Johnston (Rockwell College) (capt)
9. Jack Lyons (Crescent College Limerick)
1. Daniel Kealey (Campbell College Belfast)
2. Conor McEvoy (Sullivan Upper School)
3. Peter Cooper (Sullivan Upper School)
4. Cillian Gallagher (Summerhill College Sligo)
5. Oisin Dowling (St. Michael’s College)
6. Caelan Doris (Blackrock College)
7. Jonny Guy (St. Andrew’s College)
8. John Foley (St. Munchin’s College Limerick)
16. Peter Kelleher (Christian Brothers Cork)
17. Alexander Clarke (Ballymena Academy)
18. Dylan Murphy (Cistercian College Roscrea)
19. James Kendrick (Rockwell College)
20. Jack O’Sullivan (Presentation Brothers Cork)
21. Tom de Jongh (Belvedere College)
22. Jonathan McKeown (Ballymena Academy)
23. Jonathon Stewart (Wallace High School)
24. Conor Dean (Blackrock College)
25. Rory Butler (Campbell College Belfast)
26. Tim Carroll (Cistercian College Roscrea)
IRELAND UNDER-18 SCHOOLS’ FIXTURES:
Friday, March 27: Elite Quarter-Final: Ireland U-18 Schools v Georgia U-18s, Montauban, 7pm local time/6pm Irish time
Tuesday, March 31: Elite Semi-Finals: England/Portugal v France/Scotland; Ireland/Georgia v Wales/Italy
Saturday, April 4: Elite Play-Offs & Final