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First Starts For Ireland Under-18 Schools Quartet

First Starts For Ireland Under-18 Schools Quartet

Four players will make their first starts of the tournament when the Ireland Under-18 Schools team close out the U-18 International Series against hosts Wales in Caerphilly on Sunday (kick-off 4.15pm).

St. Gerard’s scrum half Cormac Foley and forwards John McKee (Campbell College), Thomas Clarkson (Blackrock College) and Cian Hurley (CBC Cork) have been handed their first starts by head coach Noel McNamara, who has made nine personnel changes to the side that lost 39-20 to England in midweek.

There are all-Leinster partnerships at half-back and centre respectively as Foley pairs up with the returning Harry Byrne and Gonzaga’s Eoin Barr will have David Ryan outside him in midfield. Darragh Kelly and Angus Kernohan, who were the starting wingers in the win over Italy, will form a new back-three with Ballymena Academy full-back Stewart Moore.

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Hooker Billy Scannell of PBC Cork, St. Aloysius lock Niall Murray and flanker Scott Penny from St. Michael’s are retained as the only Irish players to be ever-present throughout the tournament. Penny will captain the side with Craig Casey on the bench.

Three provinces are represented in the front row as McKee and Clarkson, who both turned 17 in February, join forces with Scannell. CBC Cork’s Hurley, whose 17th birthday is still 10 days’ away, is picked in the engine room with Murray, and Dan O’Donovan returns for the sidelined Azur Allison at number 8.

Tickets will be available on the gate at the CCB Centre of Sporting Excellence, priced at £5 for adults (free for under-16s). Supporters will be able to watch all three games – Italy v Canada (12pm), Scotland v England (2.30pm) and Wales v Ireland (4.15pm) – on the day. Re-entry is not permitted.

Ireland U-18 Schools Squad Determined To End Series ‘On A High’

IRELAND UNDER-18 SCHOOLS Team & Replacements (v Wales Under-18s, Under-18 International Series, CCB Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly, Sunday, April 16, kick-off 4.15pm):

15. Stewart Moore (Ballymena Academy/Ulster)
14. Darragh Kelly (St. Fintan’s School/Leinster)
13. David Ryan (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
12. Eoin Barr (Gonzaga College/Leinster)
11. Angus Kernohan (Ballymena Academy/Ulster)
10. Harry Byrne (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
9. Cormac Foley (St. Gerard’s School/Leinster)
1. John McKee (Campbell College/Ulster)
2. Billy Scannell (PBC Cork/Munster)
3. Thomas Clarkson (Blackrock College/Leinster)
4. Cian Hurley (CBC Cork/Munster)
5. Niall Murray (St. Aloysius College/Connacht)
6. Martin Moloney (Knockbeg College/Leinster)
7. Scott Penny (St. Michael’s College/Leinster) (capt)
8. Dan O’Donovan (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)


16. Josh Wycherley (CC Roscrea/Munster)
17. Niall McEniff (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
18. Luke Masters (CBC Cork/Munster)
19. Fintan Coleman (Crescent College Comprehensive/Munster)
20. Craig Casey (Ard Scoil Ris/Munster)
21. Ben Healy (Glenstal Abbey/Munster)
22. Liam Turner (Blackrock College/Leinster)
23. Jonathan Wren (PBC Cork/Munster)
24. Sean French (PBC Cork/Munster)


Ireland Under-18 Schools 39 Italy Under-18s 23, BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Ireland Under-18 Schools 20 England Under-18s 39, Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli
Ireland Under-18 Schools v Wales Under-18s, CCB Centre of Sporting Excellence, Caerphilly, Sunday, April 16, 4.15pm