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Ireland Squad Named For World Rugby U-20 Championship

Ireland Squad Named For World Rugby U-20 Championship

Ireland Under-20 head coach Nigel Carolan has named his quad, sponsored by PwC, for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship. The tournament takes place in Manchester from June 7-25.

The squad of 28 players, which will be captained by Lansdowne’s James Ryan, contains five players who are uncapped at Under-20 level.

Munster Academy out-half Bill Johnston has been added to the side, having recovered from the shoulder injury that ruled him out of the Six Nations campaign. He is joined by fellow Munster players Vincent O’Brien and Evan Mintern.

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Leinster’s Vakh Abdaladze – who recently won the Ulster Bank League title with Clontarf –  and David Aspil will also be looking to win their first Under-20 caps in Manchester.
Three of the Irish line-up – Andrew Porter, Adam McBurney and Jacob Stockdale – have previous experience on the world stage as they were involved in last year’s U-20 Championship in Italy.
The Ireland U-20s share Pool A with Wales, New Zealand and Georgia. They will open their campaign against Six Nations Grand-Slam winners Wales on Tuesday, June 7 in the Manchester City Academy Stadium. They then face New Zealand, last year’s U-20 World champions, and their final Pool A game is against Georgia.
Speaking at the squad announcement in PwC’s offices at One Spencer Dock, Nigel Carolan said: “We were happy with how the side progressed during the Six Nations Championship and we were pleased with how the players developed. I felt that we grew as a team over the course of the Championship and that’s something we’re looking to bring to Manchester.

“We are certainly in one of the toughest pools. Wales are coming off the back of a Six Nations Grand Slam and New Zealand come into the competition as defending champions while the Georgians are always a very physical side so it is a big challenge for us. However, we have a very ambitious group of players that have prepared well so we are looking forward to giving it our best shot.”

IRELAND UNDER-20 Squad (2016 World Rugby U-20 Championship, Manchester, England):
Backs (12):

Stephen Kerins (Sligo/Connacht)
Niall Saunders (Epsom College/Exiles)
Bill Johnston (Garryowen/Munster) *
Johnny McPhillips (Queen’s University/Ulster)
Conor O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
Shane Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Jimmy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
Paul Kiernan (UCC/Munster)
Jacob Stockdale (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)
Matthew Byrne (Terenure College/Leinster)

Forwards (16):

Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster)
James Bollard (Dublin UniversityLeinster)
Vakh Abdaladze (Clontarf/Leinster) *
Adam McBurney (Ballymena/Ulster)
Vincent O’Brien (Cork Constitution/Munster) *
Conor Kenny (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Ben Betts (Young Munster/Munster)
Cillian Gallagher (Sligo/Connacht)
James Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster) (capt)
Sean O’Connor (Cashel/Munster)
Evan Mintern (Cork Constitution/Munster) *
Greg Jones (UCD/Leinster)
Will Connors (UCD/Leinster)
Max Deegan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Kelvin Brown (Shannon/Munster)
David Aspil St. Mary’s College RFC/Leinster) *
* Denotes uncapped player at Under-20 level
Not considered due to injury:

Conan O’Donnell (Sligo/Connacht)
Shane Fenton (Young Munster/Munster)
Peter Claffey (Galwegians/Connacht)
Sam Arnold (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Jack Power (UCD/Leinster)


Pool A –

Manchester City Academy Stadium
Tuesday, June 7, 5.30pm
New Zealand v IRELAND
Manchester City Academy Stadium
Saturday, June 11, 1.30pm
IRELAND v Georgia
Manchester City Academy Stadium
Wednesday, June 15, 5.30pm
Manchester City Academy Stadium or AJ Bell Stadium, Salford
Monday, June 20
Manchester City Academy Stadium or AJ Bell Stadium, Salford
Saturday, June 25
Ireland’s Pool A fixtures will be shown live on TG4. The tournament will also be shown on Sky Sports and streamed live via the World Rugby website.