The Ireland Under-18 Schools team, sponsored by PwC, to face Italy in the opening round of the U-18 International Series in Wales on Saturday (kick-off 5.15pm) has been named.
Craig Casey of Ard Scoil Ris will captain the Ireland youngsters, who are coached by Noel McNamara and Colm McMahon, as they kick off the the festival against Italy in the Welsh capital.
He is partnered at half-back by Harry Byrne (young brother of Leinster’s Ross Byrne), with David Ryan and Sean French, who scored all 11 points for PBC Cork in last month’s Munster Schools Senior Cup final win, forming the centre partnership.
The back-three sees Liam Turner stationed at full-back with Angus Kernohan and Darragh Kelly, who impressed for St. Fintan’s during their Leinster Schools Senior Cup campaign, on the wings.
Up front, Niall McEniff, Billy Scannell (younger brother of recently-capped Ireland senior international Niall Scannell) and Luke Masters make up the front row trio.
Ryan Baird, who captained Leinster to the Under-18 Schools Interprovincial title this season, and Connacht talent Niall Murray are paired together in the second row, while the back row sees Fintan Coleman at the blindside flanker and Sr. Michael’s duo Scott Penny and Dan O’Donovan selected at openside and number 8 respectively.
Ireland will play Italy, England and hosts Wales over the course of the Under-18 International Series, with the latter two games taking place in Llanelli next Wednesday and Caerphilly on Sunday week.
IRELAND UNDER-18 SCHOOLS Team & Replacements (v Italy Under-18s, Under-18 International Series, BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, Saturday, April 8, kick-off 6pm):
15. Liam Turner (Blackrock College/Leinster)
14. Darragh Kelly (St. Fintan’s School/Leinster)
13. Sean French (PBC Cork/Munster)
12. David Ryan (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
11. Angus Kernohan (Ballymena Academy/Ulster)
10. Harry Byrne (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
9. Craig Casey (Ard Scoil Ris/Munster) (capt)
1. Niall McEniff (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
2. Billy Scannell (PBC Cork/Munster)
3. Luke Masters (CBC Cork/Munster)
4. Ryan Baird (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
5. Niall Murray (St. Aloysius College/Connacht)
6. Fintan Coleman (Crescent College Comprehensive/Munster)
7. Scott Penny (St. Michael’s College/Leinster) (vice-capt)
8. Dan O’Donovan (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
16. John McKee (Campbell College/Ulster)
17. Josh Wycherley (CC Roscrea/Munster)
18. Thomas Clarkson (Blackrock College/Leinster)
19. Cian Hurley (CBC Cork/Munster)
20. Martin Moloney (Knockbeg College/Leinster)
21. Azur Allison (Ballymena Academy/Ulster)
22. Cormac Foley (St. Gerard’s School/Leinster)
23. Ben Healy (Glenstal Abbey/Munster)
24. Eoin Barr (Gonzaga College/Leinster)
25. Stewart Moore (Ballymena Academy/Ulster)
26. Jonathan Wren (PBC Cork/Munster)
UNDER-18 INTERNATIONAL SERIES FIXTURES:
Ireland Under-18 Schools v Italy Under-18s, BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, Saturday, April 8, 6pm
Ireland Under-18 Schools v England Under-18s, Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli, Wednesday, April 12, 5.15pm
Ireland Under-18 Schools v Wales Under-18s, CCB Centre of Sporting Excellence, Caerphilly, Sunday, April 16,. 4.15pm
Tickets will be available on the gate at each venue. They are priced at £5 for adults (free for under-16s), for which supporters will be able to watch all three games on the day. Re-entry not permitted.
IRELAND U-18 SCHOOLS MANAGEMENT –
Head Coach – Noel McNamara
Team Manager – John McKinney
Assistant Coach – Colm McMahon
Scrum Coach – Bryan Young
Fitness Coach – Michael Lawlor
Baggage Master – Mo Dempsey
Team Analyst – Brett Igoe
Team Doctor – John Ryan
Team Physio – David Lyons
Team Services – Amanda Craig