The Ireland Under-20 team, sponsored by PwC, to take on Wales in the opening round of the U-20 RBS 6 Nations has been named. The match, which is sponsored by Electric Ireland, will take place at Donnybrook on Friday night (kick-off 7.35pm).
Ireland U-20 head coach Nigel Carolan has named a side that is largely inexperienced at U-20 level with just three players included from last year’s campaign.
Front rowers Andrew Porter (Leinster), Adam McBurney (Ulster) and Conan O’Donnell (Connacht) return from the 2014/15 campaign and all have experience at ‘A’ level for their provinces. Newly-appointed captain James Ryan will pack down behind them in the second row.
Carolan is looking forward to seeing the next generation of Irish rugby take to the field on Friday night and is expecting his players to hit the ground running, saying: “We’ve been training well and the players are integrating nicely.
While the majority of the lads taking to the field on Friday are new to this level, many will have benefited from their experiences with the provinces and this has shown in their preparation over the last number of weeks. We know that it will be a tough encounter first up but we’re all looking forward to kicking the campaign off on a positive note.”
Speaking about the move to Donnybrook for all three home games this season, he added: “We played our final home game in Donnybrook last season and the 4G surface makes for a fast-paced game, regardless of the conditions. Dubarry Park was a great home for the Under-20s in recent seasons and we hope to replicate that support in Donnybrook on Friday night.”
Jacob Stockdale, who is the fourth member of the squad returning from last year, is involved with Ulster in their rescheduled GUINNESS PRO12 game against the Dragons and will join up with the Irish U-20 squad next week.
Click here for tickets for all of the Ireland Under-20 three home games. Friday’s round 1 encounter with Wales will also be broadcast live on RTÉ Two with streaming on rte.ie/live (island of Ireland only).
IRELAND UNDER-20 Team & Replacements (v Wales Under-20s, Under-20 RBS 6 Nations Championship, Donnybrook, Friday, February 5, kick-off 7.35pm):
15. Jack Power (UCD/Leinster) *
14. Matthew Byrne (Terenure College/Leinster) *
13. Shane Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster) *
12. Jimmy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster) *
11. Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster) *
10. Johnny McPhillips (Queen’s University/Ulster) *
9. John Poland (Cork Constitution/Munster) *
1. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster)
2. Adam McBurney (Ballymena/Ulster)
3. Conan O’Donnell (Sligo/Connacht)
4. Peter Claffey (Galwegians/Connacht) *
5. James Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster) * (capt)
6. Cillian Gallagher (Sligo/Connacht) *
7. Will Connors (UCD/Leinster) *
8. Max Deegan (Lansdowne/Leinster) *
16. Shane Fenton (Young Munster/Munster) *
17. James Bollard (Dublin University/Leinster) *
18. Conor Kenny (Buccaneers/Connacht) *
19. Sean O’Connor (Cashel/Munster) *
20. Kelvin Brown (Shannon/Munster) *
21. Stephen Kerins (Sligo/Connacht) *
22. Brett Connon (Newcastle Falcons/Exile) *
23. Conor O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster) *
* Denotes uncapped player at this level