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Ireland Under-19s To Field Much-Changed Team Against Japan

Ireland Under-19s To Field Much-Changed Team Against Japan

Head coach Tom Tierney has named the Ireland Under-19 team, sponsored by PwC, to play Japan in the sides’ second meeting over the Easter period at Donnybrook on Wednesday (kick-off 2pm).

There are twelve personnel changes, including a completely new back-line, to the Ireland U-19 team that recorded a 40-29 win over Japan last Saturday in a game which produced 10 tries at the newly-named Energia Park.

The only survivors in the starting XV are tighthead prop Michael Milne, UCD lock Charlie Ryan, who takes over the captaincy for this second match, and Luke Clohessy who switches from blindside flanker to partner Ryan in the second row.

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Two of the new inclusions up front are loosehead Donnacha Mescal and number 8 Ruadhan Byron, who both played in last Friday’s Leinster Schools Senior Cup final which was won by Mescal’s Blackrock College side on a 35-12 scoreline.

Claytan Milligan, a promising hooker with Ballynahinch in Ulster Bank League Division 1B, completes the front row, with Campbell College’s Jamie Macartney, who was a second half replacement the last day, and Martin Moloney of Athy joining Byron in the back row.

David Ryan, brother of Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning lock James Ryan, will make his Ireland U-19 debut at inside centre, teaming up in midfield with Kieran Dunne from Munster’s sub-Academy. Ten days on from captaining Glenstal Abbey to their first ever Munster Schools Senior Cup title, Ben Healy starts for Ireland at half-back alongside fellow Schools Cup winner Colm Reilly, one of Garbally College’s Connacht trophy-winning stars.

CBC Cork’s Eoghan Barrett, who played at outside centre in their provincial final defeat to Glenstal Abbey, slots in on the right wing. He will have Ballymena’s Angus Kernohan, who is already an Ireland Under-20 cap, and Conor Hayes, a regular starter for Young Munster in the Ulster Bank League’s top flight, alongside him in the back-three.

Liam Turner, Blackrock’s Leinster Schools Senior Cup-winning skipper, is one of the newcomers on Ireland’s bench, along with Ballyclare prop Paul McGookin, Malone’s Graham Curtis and Conor Kelly from Clontarf. Graham is set to join his brother, Ireland U-20 centre Angus Curtis, as an Irish underage international, with the siblings’ father David and grandfather Arthur both earning senior caps for the country.

After completing their two-match series with Japan, Tierney’s youngsters will move on to Galway next week for two clashes with their French counterparts at the Sportsground – next Tuesday (kick-off 5pm) and on Saturday week (kick-off 2.30pm).

IRELAND UNDER-19 Team & Replacements (v Japan Under-19s, Under-19 International Match, Energia Park, Donnybrook, Wednesday, March 28, kick-off 2pm):
15. Conor Hayes (Young Munster)
14. Eoghan Barrett (CBC Cork)
13. Kieran Dunne (Shannon)
12. David Ryan (St. Michael’s College)
11. Angus Kernohan (Ballymena)
10. Ben Healy (Glenstal Abbey)
9. Colm Reilly (Garbally College)
1. Donnacha Mescal (Blackrock College)
2. Claytan Milligan (Ballynahinch)
3. Michael Milne (CC Roscrea)
4. Charlie Ryan (UCD) (capt)
5. Luke Clohessy (CC Roscrea)
6. Martin Moloney (Athy)
7. Jamie Macartney (Campbell College)
8. Ruadhan Byron (Belvedere College)

16. Dylan Tierney (Corinthians)
17. Shay O’Malley (Hartpury College/IQ Rugby)
18. Paul McGookin (Ballyclare)
19. Ryan Baird (St. Michael’s College)
20. Azur Allison (Ballymena)
21. Graham Curtis (Malone)
22. Conor Kelly (Clontarf)
23. Liam Turner (Blackrock College)
24. Scott Penny (St. Michael’s College)
25. Hugh Lane (Galwegians)


IRELAND U-19s 40 JAPAN U-19s 29
Saturday, March 24, Donnybrook

Wednesday, March 28, 2pm, Donnybrook

Tuesday, April 3, 5pm, the Sportsground

Saturday, April 7, 2.30pm, the Sportsground