The entire bench from the 30-17 midweek win will start for the Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools team in their second and final match against England U-18 Counties at Ashbourne RFC on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 2pm).
Wayne Mitchell’s well-drilled youngsters triumphed 30-17 at Energia Park where Wexford Wanderers winger Josh O’Connor’s second half try supplemented earlier scores from Paddy McAlpine and Joseph McCarthy (2), as well as 10 points from Campbell College place-kicker Conor Rankin.
O’Connor, McCarthy and Rankin are three of the players retained in the starting XV, the four changes in the back-line seeing Newbridge College’s Marcus Kiely don the number 13 jersey, IQ Rugby recruit Zach Kavanagh get the nod on the left wing, and there is a Connacht-Ulster half-back pairing in Cathal Forde and Dara Gaskin.
Sam Illo, Ronan Loughnane and Rory McGuire step up from the replacements as an all-Leinster starting front row, while lock Matthew Sands, who helped City of Armagh retain their Nutty Krust U-18 Cup title in Ulster recently, and Connacht back rower Paul Boyle’s younger brother Mark are the final changes in personnel.
IRELAND UNDER-18 CLUBS & SCHOOLS Team & Replacements (v England Under-18 Counties, 2019 Under-18 International Series, Ashbourne RFC, Saturday, April 27, kick-off 2pm):
15. Conor Rankin (Campbell College/Ulster)
14. Josh O’Connor (Wexford Wanderers RFC/St. Peter’s College/Leinster)
13. Marcus Kiely (Newbridge College/Leinster)
12. Jack Delaney (Crescent College Comprehensive/Munster)
11. Zach Kavanagh (Bristol Bears/SGS Filton College/IQ Rugby)
10. Cathal Forde (Corinthians RFC/Coláiste Iognáid/Connacht)
9. Dara Gaskin (Campbell College/Ulster)
1. Sam Illo (Wesley College/Leinster)
2. Ronan Loughnane (Cistercian College Roscrea/Leinster)
3. Rory McGuire (Blackrock College/Leinster)
4. Matthew Sands (City of Armagh RFC/St. Colman’s College Newry/Ulster)
5. Joseph McCarthy (Blackrock College/Leinster)
6. Mark Boyle (Gorey RFC/Gorey Community School/Leinster)
7. Aaron Coleman (Belvedere College/Leinster) (capt)
8. Phil Campbell (Ballymena RFC/Ulster)
16. Eoin de Buitléar (An Ghaeltacht/Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
17. Hugo O’Malley (Blackrock College/Leinster)
18. Paddy McAlpine (Campbell College/Ulster)
19. Jay Traynor (Waterpark RFC/De La Salle Waterford/Munster)
20. Hubert Costello (Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
21. Will Reilly (Portlaoise RFC/CBS Portlaoise/Leinster)
22. Justin Leonard (Belvedere College/Leinster)
23. Matthew Grogan (Belvedere College/Leinster)
24. Ben Moxham (Ballymena RFC/Larne High School/Ulster)
IRELAND UNDER-18 CLUBS & SCHOOLS XV RESULTS/FIXTURES:
Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools 30 England Under-18 Counties 17, Energia Park, Wednesday, April 24
Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools v England Under-18 Counties, Ashbourne RFC, Saturday, April 27, 2pm