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Four New Caps Included For Ireland U-20s’ Pool Opener

Four New Caps Included For Ireland U-20s’ Pool Opener

Ireland Under-20 head coach Nigel Carolan has named the team to face Wales in Pool A of the World Rugby Under-20 Championship at the Manchester City Academy Stadium on Tuesday (kick-off 5.30pm).

Captained by Lansdowne and Leinster ‘A’ second row James Ryan, Ireland’s matchday squad contains four players who are uncapped at Under-20 level.

St. Mary’s College back rower David Aspil and Garryowen out-half Bill Johnston will win their first U-20 caps when they run out in Manchester, while front row forwards Vincent O’Brien and Vakh Abdaladze will be looking to make their debuts off the bench.

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Fellow front rowers Andrew Porter and Adam McBurney will be appearing in their second World Rugby U-20 Championship, having played in last summer’s tournament in Italy. Buccaneers tighthead Conor Kenny completes the front row.

Captain Ryan is partnered in the second row by Sligo’s Cillian Gallagher, who moves into the number 4 jersey having played at flanker during this year’s U-20 RBS Six Nations.

The back row is comprised of newcomer Aspil, Lansdowne number 8 Max Deegan and UCD’s Greg Jones. Sligo scrum half Stephen Kerins partners Johnston at half-back, with Conor O’Brien and Shane Daly renewing their centre partnership from the Six Nations campaign.

The back-three features Belfast Harlequins and Ulster full-back Jacob Stockdale, who is the third member of the squad appearing at his second U-20 Championship, and wingers Matthew Byrne (Terenure College) and Hugo Keenan (UCD).

Speaking ahead of the opening Pool A fixture, head coach Nigel Carolan said: “The game against Wales is a hugely important test for this team and we’ve been building towards it since we came together as a squad a number of weeks ago. Wales are the Grand Slam champions so it’s going to be a challenging game, but one the players are looking forward to.

“There’s a good mix to the team that’s been selected – the likes of Andrew, Adam and Jacob were here last year and can bring that experience into the squad, while there will also be some players winning new caps and we’re looking forward to seeing what they can do in the green jersey.”

The match, which will be broadcast live on TG4 and Sky Sports 1 HD, kicks off at 5.30pm and will be refereed by New Zealand’s Paul Williams.

World Rugby Under-20 Championship – Ticket Information

World Rugby Under-20 Championship Fixtures

IRELAND UNDER-20 Team & Replacements (v Wales Under-20s, 2016 World Rugby Under-20 Championship Pool A, Manchester City Academy Stadium, Tuesday, June 7, kick-off 5.30pm):

15. Jacob Stockdale (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
14. Matthew Byrne (Terenure College/Leinster)
13. Shane Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster)
12. Conor O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
11. Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)
10. Bill Johnston (Garryowen/Munster) *
9. Stephen Kerins (Sligo/Connacht)
1. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster)
2. Adam McBurney (Ballymena/Ulster)
3. Conor Kenny (Buccaneers/Connacht)
4. Cillian Gallagher (Sligo/Connacht)
5. James Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster) (capt)
6. Greg Jones (UCD/Leinster)
7. David Aspil (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) *
8. Max Deegan (Lansdowne/Leinster)


16. Vincent O’Brien (Cork Constitution/Munster) *
17. Vakh Abdaladze (Clontarf/Leinster) *
18. Ben Betts (Young Munster/Munster)
19. Sean O’Connor (Cashel/Munster)
20. Kelvin Brown (Shannon/Munster)
21. Niall Saunders (Epsom College/Exiles)
22. Johnny McPhillips (Queen’s University/Ulster)
23. Jimmy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)

* Denotes uncapped player at Under-20 level


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.