The Ireland Under-20 team (sponsored by PwC) to face Georgia in the third round of the World Rugby U-20 World Championship in Narbonne on Thursday (kick-off 6.30pm local time/5.30pm Irish time) has been named.
There are six changes to the side that lost 30-17 to their South African counterparts at the same venue on Sunday. With their semi-final hopes now extinguished, the Ireland U-20s are focused on posting their first win of the tournament and gaining as many points as possible heading into the play-offs.
Jordan Duggan, Diarmuid Barron and Jack Aunger will start together in the front row for the third successive game, while Ulster Academy member Matthew Dalton returns in the second row alongside Jack Dunne, reuniting the lock partnership from the narrow loss to tournament hosts France.
Ever-present captain Caelan Doris, who scored one of the tries of the second round, continues at number 8 and is joined in the back row by Ballynahinch’s Aaron Hall, who makes his first start of the tournament, and openside Jack Daly, an Ireland Under-20 debutant and the second Garryowen player in the starting pack.
Hugh O’Sullivan swaps back in at scrum half to form an all-Leinster half-back combination with Conor Dean, while Tommy O’Brien and James Hume are retained for their second outing together in the centre, and the final two changes see UCC’s Peter Sylvester stationed at full-back and Peter Sullivan from Lansdowne – a call-up to replace the injured Dan Hurley in the Irish squad – gets the nod on the right wing.
The replacements bench includes another potential debutant in promising Sligo prop Jakub Wojtkowicz, alongside UCC loosehead Bryan O’Connor who won his first cap as a 68th minute replacement for Duggan against the Junior ‘Boks.
The Ireland U-20s lie third in Pool C on a single point, the same tally as Georgia. Head coach Noel McNamara said: “We have two tough games under our belt and are disappointed with the results so far. We have another tough game ahead of us tomorrow against Georgia. We’re all looking forward to the game and hopefully we can perform to our potential.”
When the Ireland U-20s met Georgia in a 9th-10th place play-off in Tbilisi twelve months ago, out-half Dean’s 73rd-minute penalty got them over the line in a hard-fought 24-18 victory. Dean finished with nine points, while Doris was one of the three try scorers, and prop Duggan, scrum half Jonny Stewart and full-back Michael Silvester were also involved.
Thursday’s third round tie will be broadcast live on eir Sport 2 in the Republic of Ireland and online in non-geo blocked locations via World Rugby’s Facebook page and www.worldrugby.org. For more information on the tournament, click here.
IRELAND UNDER-20 Team & Replacements (v Georgia Under-20s, 2018 World Rugby U-20 Championship Pool C, Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l’Amitie, Narbonne, Thursday, June 7, kick-off 6.30pm local time/5.30pm Irish time):
15. Peter Sylvester (UCC/Munster)
14. Peter Sullivan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
13. Tommy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
12. James Hume (Banbridge/Ulster)
11. Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
10. Conor Dean (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
9. Hugh O’Sullivan (Clontarf/Leinster)
1. Jordan Duggan (Naas/Leinster)
2. Diarmuid Barron (Garryowen/Munster)
3. Jack Aungier (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
4. Matthew Dalton (Malone/Ulster)
5. Jack Dunne (Dublin University/Leinster)
6. Aaron Hall (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
7. Jack Daly (Garryowen/Munster) *
8. Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) (capt)
16. Dan Sheehan (Dublin University/Leinster)
17. Bryan O’Connor (UCC/Munster)
18. Jakub Wojtkowicz (Sligo/Connacht) *
19. Cormac Daly (Clontarf/Leinster)
20. Matthew Agnew (Ballymena/Ulster)
21. Jonny Stewart (Queen’s University/Ulster)
22. Harry Byrne (UCD/Leinster)
23. James McCarthy (UL Bohemians/Munster)
* Denotes uncapped player at this level
IRELAND U-20s’ World Rugby Championship Results/Fixtures:
Pool C –
France 26 Ireland 24
Stade Aimé-Giral, Perpignan, Wednesday, May 30
South Africa 30 Ireland 17
Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l’Amitie, Narbonne, Sunday, June 3
Ireland v Georgia (live eir Sport 2)
Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l’Amitie, Narbonne, Thursday, June 7, 6.30pm local time/5.30pm Irish time
Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l’Amitie, Narbonne or Stade Aimé-Giral, Perpignan, Tuesday, June 12
Stade de la Mediterranee, Béziers, Sunday, June 17