The Ireland Under-20s, sponsored by PwC, will warm up for the forthcoming U-20 Six Nations Championship with a brace of fixtures over the Christmas period, while the Ireland Under-18 squads will take part in a three-day training camp.
An extended Ireland Under-20 squad will play both Leinster ‘A’ and Munster ‘A’ later this month as they continue preparations for their opening game of the Under-20 Six Nations against France on Friday, February 2.
Newly-appointed head coach Noel McNamara will run the rule over the squad along with assistant coaches Ambrose Conboy, Connacht Elite Player Development Officer, and Tom Tierney (Elite Player Development Officer – IRFU).
Tickets for the Ireland Under-20 Six Nations matches at Donnybrook against Italy, Wales and Scotland are on sale now from ticketmaster.ie.
Tierney will also take charge of the Ireland Under-19 squad this season, assisted by Colm McMahon (EPDO – Munster) and Bryan Young (Ulster Academy).
The Ireland Under-18 Schools and Clubs players will take part in a three-day camp over the Christmas period. The Under-18 Clubs side, under Dan van Zyl and Brendan O’Connor, enjoyed their first outing of the season when they beat the Portugal U-18s 46-27 at the start of November.
Leinster Academy Manager Peter Smyth takes charge of the Ireland Under-18 Schools squad this season and is supported by Maurice Lawlor (EPDO – Connacht) and Jamie Cornett (St. Mary’s College).
Mark Butler (Talent ID Coach – Munster) is head coach of the Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools squad and he will be assisted by Colm Tucker (Talent ID Coach – Connacht) and Castleknock College’s Adrian Flavin.
Speaking about the upcoming fixtures and training camps, IRFU High Performance Manager Colin McEntee commented: “Age-grade competitions enable us to benchmark our player development structures against the best in the world and are important learning environments for both players and coaches.
“We must ensure the environment we create for the players, supports player development so that we learn from these experiences. This will allow us to ask appropriate questions of our programmes, structures and players, to ensure our pathway and processes are aligned to allow these young athletes to perform on the international stage.”
IRELAND UNDER-20 FIXTURES:
Ireland Under-20s v Leinster Development, Thursday, December 21, Donnybrook, 12pm
Ireland Under-20s v Munster Development, Friday, December 29, Thomond Park, 1pm
IRELAND UNDER-18 SCHOOLS & CLUBS TRAINING CAMP: