Following a medical review, the Ireland Under-20 management can confirm injuries to the following players – Marcus Rea (shoulder), Jack Kelly (ankle), Sean Masterson (ankle), Conor Fitzgerald (ankle) and Liam Coombes (thigh).
The injured Marcus Rea, Jack Kelly, Sean Masterson, Conor Fitzgerald and Liam Coombes will be returning to Ireland and the following players have been added to the squad in Georgia – winger Mark Keane (Instonians/Ulster), back rower Cormac Daly (Navan/Leinster) and out-half Luke Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht).
A horrible run of luck with injuries hit the Ireland U-20 squad before the World Rugby U-20 Championship, ruling six regular starters out of selection, and coaches Peter Malone and Kieran Campbell have had to cope with further withdrawals ahead of Tuesday’s 9th-12th place play-off against Samoa in Tbilisi (kick-off 1pm local time/10am Irish time).
Backs Fitzgerald and Coombes were both called up as injury replacements just earlier in the week, coming straight in to start against New Zealand in Ireland’s final pool game in Kutaisi. The out-half position has been especially attritional this season, with Malone losing the services of Johnny McPhillips (groin), Bill Johnston (fractured fibula), Angus Curtis (concussion) and now Fitzgerald (ankle).
Versatile back Kelly began the year as Ireland U-20 captain but he had an injury-disrupted Six Nations. He recovered from a shoulder injury to prove his fitness for Georgia, but just when he was hitting form with a brace of tries against Scotland, the luckless Dublin University clubman is sidelined again.
Of the three latest call-ups, out-half Carty is a brother of Connacht’s Jack Carty and is in the province’s sub-Academy. The fleet-footed Keane scored a try in all three of the Ireland U-19s’ internationals this season against Japan and France (2), while he also crossed the whitewash for Ulster against the Barbarians last week.
Daly was a try scorer for the Ireland U-20s in a warm-up game against a Munster Development side last month. He lined out in the second row in the Navan U-20s’ historic Fraser McMullen Cup final win over Lansdowne in April.