Head coach Kieran Campbell has confirmed the Ireland Under-19 team (sponsored by PwC) to play France in the first of two matches in Bordeaux this week. Today’s opening encounter kicks off at 6.30pm local time/5.30pm Irish time.
Connacht’s Sean Masterson, who made his Ireland Under-20 debut against France in February, will captain the U-19s from number 8, anchoring an unchanged back row that also includes Ballynahinch clubman Aaron Hall and London Irish Academy member Jack Cooke.
There are two changes to the Ireland side that earned a 50-31 win over Japan at Donnybrook just over two weeks ago, and both come in the back-line where Dublin University’s Michael Silvester starts at full-back and Ulster recruit Angus Curtis gets the nod at out-half.
Silvester was a try-scoring replacement in Trinity’s Colours defeat to UCD last Friday, while the Zimbabwean-born Curtis has a strong rugby pedigree with his father David (1991-1992) and grandfather Bryan (1950) both capped by Ireland at senior level.
St. Andrew’s College winger Peter Sullivan will be looking to build on his impressive hat-trick of tries from the Japan game, with centre James Hume, an Ulster Schools Senior Cup winner with RBAI recently, also chipping in with a brace on his Ireland U-19 bow.
Garryowen hooker Diarmuid Barron and St. Michael’s lock Jack Dunne were in the starting front five for the Ireland U-18s’ 23-10 loss to France in Ashbourne last year. Pres Cork’s Jack O’Sullivan, who crossed for the hosts’ only try that day, is on the bench for this evening’s match.
Former Leinster, Ireland and Toulouse forward Trevor Brennan’s son Daniel will captain the France U-19s today from tighthead prop. They were 35-22 winners over England at the start of the month. The FFR will stream the France-Ireland game live from Bordeaux here – kick-off 5.30pm Irish time.
IRELAND UNDER-19 Team & Replacements (v France Under-19s, Under-19 International Match, Stade Jules Ladoumègue, Lormont, Bordeaux, Tuesday, April 11, kick-off 6.30pm local time/5.30pm Irish time):
15. Michael Silvester (Dublin University/Leinster)
14. Mark Keane (Instonians/Ulster)
13. James Hume (RBAI/Ulster)
12. David McCarthy (Garryowen/Munster)
11. Peter Sullivan (St. Andrew’s College/Leinster)
10. Angus Curtis (Queen’s University/Ulster)
9. Hugh O’Sullivan (Belvedere College/Leinster)
1. James French (Bandon Grammar School/Munster)
2. Diarmuid Barron (Garryowen/Munster)
3. Tom O’Toole (Campbell College/Ulster)
4. Matthew Dalton (Belfast Royal Academy/Ulster)
5. Jack Dunne (St Michael’s College/Leinster)
6. Jack Cooke (London Irish/Exiles)
7. Aaron Hall (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
8. Sean Masterson (Corinthians/Connacht) (capt)
16. Alexander Clarke (Ballymena Academy/Ulster)
17. Jordan Duggan (Naas/Leinster)
18. Bryan O’Connor (PBC Cork/Munster)
19. John McCusker (Rainey Old Boys/Ulster)
20. Max Kearney (Belvedere College/Leinster)
21. James Kenny (Gonzaga College/Leinster)
22. Michael Lowry (RBAI/Ulster)
23. Conor Wharton (Leeds Beckett University/Exiles)
24. Jack O’Sullivan (PBC Cork/Munster)
25. Corey Reid (Marist College/Connacht)
26. Tom Roche (Blackrock College/Leinster)
IRELAND U-19 MANAGEMENT –
Kieran Campbell – Head Coach
Hugh Hogan – Assistant Coach
Ambrose Conboy – Assistant Coach
Barney McGonigle – Team Manager
Colin McEntee – IRFU High Performance Manager
Marc Beggs – Physio
Tim O’Flanagan – Doctor
Matt Maguire – Strength & Conditioning Coach
Pat Downey – Baggage Master
Jeff Blackburn – Performance Analyst
Nóra Ní Fhlannagáin – Nutritionist
Amanda Craig – Team Services
IRELAND U-19 TOUR FIXTURES:
France U-19s v IRELAND U-19s
Tuesday, April 11, kick-off 6.30pm local time/5.30pm Irish time
Stade Jules Ladoumègue, Lormont, Bordeaux
France U-19s v IRELAND U-19s
Sunday, April 16, kick-off 3pm local time/2pm Irish time
Stade Robert Brettes, Merignac, Bordeaux