A number of players will make their second and third starts of the Under-18 Six Nations Festival when the Ireland U-18 Schools kick off the final day against Scotland U-18s at Gloucester’s Kingsholm ground on Easter Sunday (kick-off 11.10am).
The game will be shown live on Free Sports – channel 429 on Sky in Ireland – as Peter Smyth’s youngsters chase their first win of the tournament following narrow defeats to France (29-24) and hosts England (24-17). Scotland also went without a win during the opening two rounds, losing to both Italy (19-18) and Wales (28-17).
There are ten personnel changes and one positional switch from the England match in midweek, with the starting XV almost identical to the one that lined out against France. Captain Alex Kendellen, full-back Chris Cosgrave, who has kicked 16 points, and locks Alex Soroka and Darragh Murray are the ever-present members of the side.
Coláiste Bhaile Chláir and Corinthians’ Diarmuid Kilcommins switches wings with Aaron Leahy of CBC Cork returning on the left. Karl Martin and Harry O’Riordan come back in as the starting centres, while Wallace High School’s Nathan Doak and Ben Murphy of Pres Bray are selected at half-back.
Three provinces are represented in a front row containing Jack Boyle, Tom Stewart and Mark Donnelly, and that is the case too in the back row where number 8 Kendellen is joined by Will Hickey of St. Michael’s College and Clongowes openside Diarmuid McCormack, who plays his provincial rugby with Connacht.
IRELAND UNDER-18 SCHOOLS Team & Replacements (v Scotland Under-18s, 2019 Under-18 Six Nations Festival, Kingsholm, Gloucester, Sunday, April 21, kick-off 11.10am):
15. Chris Cosgrave (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
14. Diarmuid Kilcommins (Coláiste Bhaile Chláir/Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
13. Harry O’Riordan (CBC Cork/Munster)
12. Karl Martin (St. Mary’s School Drogheda/Boyne RFC/Leinster)
11. Aaron Leahy (CBC Cork/Munster)
10. Nathan Doak (Wallace High School/Ulster)
9. Ben Murphy (Presentation College Bray/Leinster)
1. Jack Boyle St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
2. Tom Stewart (Belfast Royal Academy/Ulster)
3. Mark Donnelly (CBC Cork/Munster)
4. Alex Soroka (Belvedere College/Leinster)
5. Darragh Murray (Colaiste Chiaráin/Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
6. Will Hickey (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
7. Diarmuid McCormack (Clongowes Wood College/Connacht)
8. Alex Kendellen (PBC Cork/Munster) (capt)
16. Lee Barron (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
17. George Saunderson (Sullivan Upper School/Ulster)
18. Oscar Egan (Coleraine Grammar School/Ulster)
19. Reuben Crothers (Wallace High School/Ulster)
20. Oisin McCormack (Garbally College/Connacht)
21. Donnacha Byrne (Summerhill College/Sligo RFC/Connacht)
22. Conor McKee (Sullivan Upper School/Ulster)
23. Cian Whooley (CBC Cork/Munster)
24. Shane Jennings (Garbally College/Connacht)
25. Jamie Osborne (Naas CBC/Naas RFC/Leinster)
26. Ben Carson (Wallace High School/Ulster)
IRELAND UNDER-18 SCHOOLS – U-18 SIX NATIONS FESTIVAL RESULTS/FIXTURES:
Ireland Under-18 Schools 24 France Under-18s 29, Hartpury College, Gloucester
England Under-18s 24 Ireland Under-18 Schools 17, Sixways Stadium, Worcester
Ireland Under-18 Schools v Scotland Under-18s, Kingsholm, Gloucester, Sunday, April 21, 11.10am