The Ireland Under-20 team (sponsored by PwC) to face France in Narbonne on Friday night (kick-off 9.05pm local time/8.05pm Irish time) has been named. The game will be broadcast live on RTE Two and www.rte.ie/live (island of Ireland only).
Head coach Nigel Carolan has made several changes to the side that lost to 35-24 to Wales at Donnybrook last Friday night.
In the backs, UCD’s Hugo Keenan, who started on the wing last week, moves to full-back in place of the injured Jack Power. Conor O’Brien (Clontarf), who won his first cap off the bench in the opening round, will start on the left wing and St. Mary’s College and Ireland Sevens player Terry Kennedy will look to win his first Under-20 cap as a replacement.
Up front, prop Conor Kenny from Buccaneers takes the place of Sligo’s Conan O’Donnell, who moves to the replacements. Cork Constitution’s Dan Walsh, who will win his first U-20 cap, comes straight into the back row for the injured Will Connors.
Speaking ahead of the squad’s departure for France, Carolan said: “We were disappointed with how things went against Wales. I thought that we played well overall but mistakes proved costly in the end. We’ve hopefully addressed the key areas and we’ll be looking for an improved performance on Friday night.
“Our training sessions this week have been very positive and the players are looking forward to the game in Narbonne. If we can maximise on our opportunities, I’d be confident of a result against the French.”
IRELAND UNDER-20 Team & Replacements (v France Under-20s, Under-20 RBS 6 Nations, Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l’Amitié, Narbonne, Friday, February 12. kick-off 9.05pm local time/8.05pm Irish time):
15. Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)
14. Matthew Byrne (Terenure College/Leinster)
13. Shane Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster)
12. Jimmy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
11. Conor O’Brien (Clontarf/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. Conor Kenny (Buccaneers/Connacht)
4. Peter Claffey (Galwegians/Connacht)
5. James Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster) (capt)
6. Cillian Gallagher (Sligo/Connacht)
7. Dan Walsh (Cork Constitution/Munster) *
8. Max Deegan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
16. Shane Fenton (Young Munster/Munster)
17. James Bollard (Dublin University/Leinster)
18. Conan O’Donnell (Sligo/Connacht)
19. Sean O’Connor (Cashel/Munster)
20. Kelvin Brown (Shannon/Munster)
21. Stephen Kerins (Sligo/Connacht)
22. Brett Connon (Newcastle Falcons/Exiles)
23. Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) *
* Denotes uncapped player at this level
Not Considered –
Jack Power (UCD/Leinster) – injured
Will Connors (UCD/Leinster) – injured
Jacob Stockdale (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) – involved with Ulster (PRO12)
Robert Lyttle (Queen’s University/Ulster) – involved with Ulster (PRO12)