Jump to main content


PWC logo

Ireland Under-20 Team Named For France Clash

Ireland Under-20 Team Named For France Clash

Head coach Nigel Carolan has named the Ireland Under-20 team, sponsored by PwC, to face France in their first U-20 Six Nations home match at Donnybrook on Friday night (kick-off 8pm).

Tickets for the Donnybrook clash, which is sponsored by Electric Ireland, are on sale on ticketmaster.ie – click here.

There are five personnel changes to the Ireland side that edged out Italy 27-26 in Prato a fortnight ago which maintained their winning start to the U-20 Six Nations Championship.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Ulster starlet Rob Lyttle has recovered from a shoulder injury and will win his first Ireland U-20 cap at full-back on Friday, linking up with wingers Jordan Larmour and Calvin Nash. The Munster-capped Nash will captain the side in the absence of injured duo Jack Kelly and Cillian Gallagher.
Tommy O’Brien, who was a try scorer off the bench against Italy, will wear the number 13 jersey, lining out alongside his UCD and Leinster team-mate Ciaran Frawley in midfield.
Garryowen out-half Bill Johnston will make his first appearance for the Ireland U-20s since last June’s historic World Rugby U-20 Championship win over New Zealand. The Munster Academy ace takes over from the injured Johnny McPhillips, forming a new half-back partnership with Jonny Stewart.
The front row is unchanged from the Italy game, with Joey Conway, Tadgh McElroy and Charlie Connolly packing down together again. With Munster calling up Fineen Wycherley, UCD’s Jack Regan – son of Offaly All-Ireland-winning hurler Daithi Regan – comes in to make his first start in the second row alongside Lansdowne’s Oisin Dowling.
Tickets Online NowThe back row sees Ulster’s Marcus Rea replace Gallagher (shoulder) at blindside flanker, with Paul Boyle and Caelan Doris retained at openside and number 8 respectively.
In the replacements, Leinster’s Ronan Kelleher – brother of Connacht senior player Cian Kelleher – will be looking to win his first Ireland U-20 cap against the French, while Peter Cooper returns to the squad having missed the round 2 victory through injury. Rory Mulvihill is the third front row reserve.

Gavin Coombes again takes his place among the replacements, with his Munster colleagues Jack Lyons and Conor Fitzgerald also looking to make their home bows for Nigel Carolan’s charges.

There are two more potential Ireland U-20 debutants in Connacht’s Sean Masterson, whose brother Eoghan has played over 30 times for the province at senior level, and versatile Cork Constitution back Alex McHenry whose father is former European Tour golfer John McHenry.

Speaking ahead of the RTE Two-televised encounter, head coach Carolan said: “We’ve been forced to make a number of changes due to injuries this week, but that gives other players the opportunity to demonstrate what they can offer.
“The players trained with the Ireland senior squad last Friday in Monaghan and they will have taken a lot of positives from that session which they carried into training this week.
“The French bounced back well from their defeat to England to win convincingly against Scotland, so we have a big challenge ahead of us this Friday, however with the quick surface in Donnybrook, along with playing in front of our home fans, the players are looking forward to getting out there and are looking to put in a good performance.”

IRELAND UNDER-20 Team & Replacements (v France Under-20s, 2017 Under-20 Six Nations, Donnybrook, Friday, February 24, kick-off 8pm):
15. Rob Lyttle (Queen’s University/Ulster) *
14. Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
13. Tommy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
12. Ciaran Frawley (UCD/Leinster)
11. Calvin Nash (Young Munster/Munster) (capt)
10. Bill Johnston (Garryowen/Munster)
9. Jonny Stewart (Queen’s University/Ulster)
1. Joey Conway (UL Bohemians/Munster)
2. Tadgh McElroy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
3. Charlie Connolly (Dublin University/Leinster)
4. Jack Regan (UCD/Leinster)
5. Oisin Dowling (Lansdowne/Leinster)
6. Marcus Rea (Queen’s University/Ulster)
7. Paul Boyle (Lansdowne/Leinster)
8. Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)


16. Ronan Kelleher (UCD/Leinster) *
17. Rory Mulvihill (UCD/Leinster)
18. Peter Cooper (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
19. Gavin Coombes (Young Munster/Munster)
20. Sean Masterson (Corinthians/Connacht) *
21. Jack Lyons (Young Munster/Munster)
22. Conor Fitzgerald (Shannon/Munster)
23. Alex McHenry (Cork Constitution/Munster) *

* Denotes uncapped player
Not considered due to injury:

Jack Kelly (shoulder) – hoping to be available for selection for Wales
Johnny McPhillips (groin) – hoping to be available for selection for Wales
Gavin Mullin (hamstring) – hoping to be available for selection for Wales
Cillian Gallagher (shoulder) – awaiting additional results
Rory Butler (concussion) – unavailable for the remainder of the Six Nations
Unavailable for selection:

Fineen Wycherley – drafted into Munster squad for their Guinness PRO12 match this weekend

IRELAND UNDER-20 Management –

Head Coach – Nigel Carolan
Assistant Coach – Peter Malone
Scrum Coach – Conor Twomey
Team Manager – Hendrik Kruger
Strength & Conditioning Coach – Martin Kennedy
Physiotherapist – Nicholas Lalor
Performance Analyst – Jim Herring
Masseur – Gareth Rossi
Equipment and Logistics Manager – Lar Hogan
Media Officer – Sam O’Byrne

IRELAND UNDER-20s’ Six Nations Schedule:

Friday, February 3
Scotland U-20s 19 Ireland U-20s 20, Broadwood Stadium, Glasgow

Friday, February 10
Italy U-20s 26 Ireland U-20s 27, Stadio Enrico Chersoni, Prato

Friday, February 24
Ireland U-20s v France U-20s, Donnybrook Stadium, 8pm

Saturday, March 11
Wales U-20s v Ireland U-20s, Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay, 6.30pm

Friday, March 17
Ireland U-20s v England U-20s, Donnybrook Stadium, 6pm