The Ireland Under-18 Schools team, sponsored by PwC, has been announced for their second match of the U-18 International Series against England at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli on Wednesday (kick-off 5.15pm).
Ireland will look to make it two wins out of two in the tournament, having emerged with a 39-23 victory over Italy in last Saturday’s opening round in Cardiff.
Head coach Noel McNamara has made seven personnel changes and one positional switch to the side that started against Italy. Pres Cork’s Sean French, who touched down twice in the series opener, will be partnered at centre by Eoin Barr of Gonzaga College.
Blackrock’s Liam Turner moves to the right wing to accommodate the inclusion of Stewart Moore (Ballymena Academy) at full-back, with French’s school-mate Jonathan Wren starting on the left wing and Glenstal Abbey’s Ben Healy completing an all-Munster half-back pairing with captain Craig Casey.
There is another Munster combination in the front row where Josh Wycherley, whose brother Fineen was a regular for Ireland during the recent U-20 Six Nations, links up with hooker Billy Scannell – a try scorer against Italy – and tighthead Luke Masters.
The second row of Ryan Baird and Connacht’s Niall Murray is unchanged, while Knockbeg College’s Martin Moloney and Azur Allison of Ballymena Academy, who skippered the Ulster U-18 Schools team this season, will form a new-look back row with vice-captain Scott Penny.
The England Under-18s scored nine tries on their way to a 55-11 win over Canada U-19s last Saturday. Right winger Turner is the only player who was involved for Ireland in last year’s corresponding fixture – a tight 15-12 defeat at Bristol’s SGS College.
IRELAND UNDER-18 SCHOOLS Team & Replacements (v England Under-18s, Under-18 International Series, Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli, Wednesday, April 12, kick-off 5.15pm):
15. Stewart Moore (Ballymena Academy/Ulster)
14. Liam Turner (Blackrock College/Leinster)
13. Sean French (PBC Cork/Munster)
12. Eoin Barr (Gonzaga College/Leinster)
11. Jonathan Wren (PBC Cork/Munster)
10. Ben Healy (Glenstal Abbey/Munster)
9. Craig Casey (Ard Scoil Ris/Munster) (capt)
1. Josh Wycherley (CC Roscrea/Munster)
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. Martin Moloney (Knockbeg College/Leinster)
7. Scott Penny (St. Michael’s College/Leinster) (vice-capt)
8. Azur Allison (Ballymena Academy/Ulster)
16. John McKee (Campbell College/Ulster)
17. Niall McEniff (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
18. Thomas Clarkson (Blackrock College/Leinster)
19. Cian Hurley (CBC Cork/Munster)
20. Fintan Coleman (Crescent College Comprehensive/Munster)
21. Dan O’Donovan (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
22. Cormac Foley (St. Gerard’s School/Leinster)
23. Harry Byrne (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
24. David Ryan (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
25. Darragh Kelly (St. Fintan’s School/Leinster)
26. Angus Kernohan (Ballymena Academy/Ulster)
UNDER-18 INTERNATIONAL SERIES FIXTURES.RESULTS:
Ireland Under-18 Schools 39 Italy Under-18s 23, BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
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