A 24-man Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools squad has been selected for the annual two-match series against the England U-18 Counties team over the Easter period.
Wayne Mitchell’s Ireland youngsters will play two games against the touring England side, the first at Energia Park in Donnybrook on Wednesday week (April 24) and the second at Ashbourne RFC on Saturday, April 27. Mitchell’s assistant coaches are Simon Broughton and Jamie Cornett.
Seven of the squad were part of the Ireland U-18 Clubs squad that ran out 31-12 winners against Italy Academy U-18s back in October. Wexford Wanderers winger Josh O’Connor scored two of the five tries in that game.
Eoin de Buitléar, Hubert Costello, Mark Boyle and Jay Traynor all featured in the forwards, while backs Cathal Forde and IQ Rugby’s Zach Kavanagh were also involved. De Buitléar and Boyle are younger brothers of Connacht’s Colm de Buitléar and Paul Boyle, who have both played PRO14 and European rugby this season.
Crescent College Comprehensive’s Jack Delaney started at out-half for the Ireland U-19s against Australia in December, with flanker Phil Campbell gaining a good chunk of All-Ireland League experience this season with Ballymena. Campbell College prop Paddy McAlpine played in last year’s series against England U-18 Counties.
IRELAND UNDER-18 CLUBS & SCHOOLS Squad (v England Under-18 Counties, April 2019):
Backs (11) –
Jack Delaney (Crescent College Comprehensive/Munster)
Cathal Forde (Corinthians RFC/Coláiste Iognáid/Connacht)
Dara Gaskin (Campbell College/Ulster)
Matthew Grogan (Belvedere College/Leinster)
Zach Kavanagh (Bristol Bears/SGS Filton College/IQ Rugby)
Marcus Kiely (Newbridge College/Leinster)
Justin Leonard (Belvedere College/Leinster)
Ben Moxham (Ballymena RFC/Larne High School/Ulster)
Josh O’Connor (Wexford Wanderers RFC/St. Peter’s College/Leinster)
Conor Rankin (Campbell College/Ulster)
Will Reilly (Portlaoise RFC/CBS Portlaoise/Leinster)
Forwards (13) –
Mark Boyle (Gorey RFC/Gorey Community School/Leinster)
Phil Campbell (Ballymena RFC/Ulster)
Aaron Coleman (Belvedere College/Leinster)
Hubert Costello (Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
Eoin de Buitléar (An Ghaeltacht/Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
Sam Illo (Wesley College/Leinster)
Ronan Loughnane (Cistercian College Roscrea/Leinster)
Paddy McAlpine (Campbell College/Ulster)
Joseph McCarthy (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Rory McGuire (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Hugo O’Malley (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Matthew Sands (City of Armagh RFC/St. Colman’s College Newry/Ulster)
Jay Traynor (Waterpark RFC/De La Salle Waterford/Munster)
IRELAND UNDER-18 CLUBS & SCHOOLS XV FIXTURES:
Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools v England Under-18 Counties, Energia Park, Wednesday, April 24, 2.30pm
Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools v England Under-18 Counties, Ashbourne RFC, Saturday, April 27, 2pm