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Five Changes Made To Ireland Under-20 Team

Five Changes Made To Ireland Under-20 Team

The Ireland Under-20 team (sponsored by PwC) to take on the England Under-20s at Kingston Park in Newcastle on Friday (kick-off 6.05pm) has been named.

Head coach Nigel Carolan has made five personnel changes and one positional switch to the side that started against France two weeks ago.

In the backs, there is a change at half-back where Sligo and Connacht scrum half Stephen Kerins makes his first Under-20 RBS 6 Nations start, having been used as a replacement in the opening two games.

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Jack Power has also recovered from injury and comes back into the side at full-back, with Hugo Keenan shifting back to the right wing and Matthew Byrne moving to the replacements

Up front, Sligo prop Conan O’Donnell returns to the starting line-up in place of Conor Kenny who misses the round 3 tie through injury. His place in the squad is taken by Young Munster’s Ben Betts, who will win his first Ireland U-20 cap should he be called upon from the bench.

In the back row, UCD’s Greg Jones is set to make his U-20 international debut on Friday as he replaces the injured Max Deegan at number 8, while Will Connors has also recovered from injury to feature at openside flanker.

Speaking ahead of the Sky Sports 3-televised clash, Carolan said: “We were disappointed with the result in France last time out. We started the game well, but we let things slip away from us before half-time and never managed to recover.

“Looking towards England on Friday, we are expecting a tough encounter in Newcastle. The English side made up for their opening loss to Scotland with a convincing win against Italy, so we are prepared for them to be coming into this game full of confidence.”

IRELAND UNDER-20 Team & Replacements (v England Under-20s, Under-20 RBS 6 Nations, Kingston Park, Newcastle, Friday, February 26. kick-off 6.05pm):

15. Jack Power (UCD/Leinster)
14. Hugo Keenan (UCD/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. Stephen Kerins (Sligo/Connacht)
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. Greg Jones (UCD/Leinster) *


16. Shane Fenton (Young Munster/Munster)
17. James Bollard (Dublin University/Leinster)
18. Ben Betts (Young Munster/Munster) *
19. Sean O’Connor (Cashel/Munster)
20. Kelvin Brown (Shannon/Munster)
21. John Poland (Cork Constitution/Munster)
22. Brett Connon (Newcastle Falcons/Exiles)
23. Matthew Byrne (Terenure College/Leinster)

* Denotes uncapped player at this level

Not Considered –

Max Deegan (Lansdowne/Leinster) – injured
John Foley (Shannon/Munster) – injured
Conor Kenny (Buccaneers/Connacht) – injured
Jacob Stockdale (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) – involved with Ulster
Robert Lyttle (Queen’s University/Ulster) – involved with Ulster