An extended Ireland Under-20 squad of 32 players, sponsored by PwC, has been named by the coaching team ahead of the World Rugby U-20 Championship in Argentina next month.
Head coach Noel McNamara, who oversaw a superb Grand Slam campaign during this season’s U-20 Six Nations, will confirm a 28-man travelling party ahead of Ireland’s departure to Argentina.
The tournament will take place from June 4 to 22, with McNamara’s charges playing their Pool B games in Santa Fe at the Club de Rugby Atheneo Immaculada. The play-off games will take place in Rosario between the Racecourse Stadium and Club Old Resian.
The Ireland Under-20s share Pool B with Australia, England and Italy, and will face Six Nations rivals England, whom they defeated 35-27 in Cork in February, on the opening day of the tournament.
The squad will be captained by UCD and Leinster lock Charlie Ryan, with Shannon and Munster scrum half Craig Casey (pictured below) selected as vice-captain. Ryan took over the captaincy from the injured David Hawkshaw (knee) for Ireland’s closing Six Nations wins over France and Wales.
Ryan and Dylan Tierney-Martin are the two members of the squad with previous World Championship experience, having both played in France last summer. The eight uncapped players are forwards Declan Adamson, Thomas Ahern, Azur Allison and Charlie Ward, along with backs Stewart Moore, Bruce Houston, Iwan Hughes and Adam La Grue, who has impressed for Terenure College in All-Ireland League Division 1A.
Speaking about the tournament, McNamara commented:
History has shown us that this is an attritional competition and it’s important that anyone who may take to the field in Argentina is up to speed with how want to play. With that in mind we have named an extended squad ahead of setting off in two weeks’ time.
“We have had some really positive sessions since the Six Nations, and with another camp coming up next week we will continue to build on preparations ahead of the first game against England.”
At the squad announcement, PwC Partner Paraic Joyce said: “As long-standing partners of Irish Rugby, we’re delighted to support the Ireland Under-20 team in this year’s World Rugby U-20 Championship in Argentina.
The development of talent, collaborative teamwork and a pursuit of excellence are some of the core values of PwC and are the hallmarks of this team. It is these shared values that have made our partnership with the IRFU so successful over the last 14 years.
“Following a momentous Six Nations Grand Slam, all of us here in PwC are confident that the team will put their best foot forward on the world stage. The team are excellent ambassadors for the country, for Irish Rugby and for PwC Ireland. We wish them the best of luck in Argentina in the upcoming games.”
Ireland’s games will be shown live on eir Sport, while there will be live streaming via the World Rugby website in certain regions. Tickets for the tournament are available via www.ticketek.com.ar and priced from $300 (£5.65) for pool matches.
IRELAND UNDER-20 Squad (2019 World Rugby U-20 Championship)
Backs (14) –
Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster) (vice-capt)
Jake Flannery (Shannon/Munster)
Cormac Foley (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Sean French (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Ben Healy (Garryowen/Munster)
Bruce Houston (Ballymena/Ulster) *
Iwan Hughes (Ballynahinch/Ulster) *
Angus Kernohan (Queen’s University/Ulster)
Adam La Grue (Terenure College/Leinster) *
Stewart Moore (Malone/Ulster) *
Colm Reilly (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Rob Russell (Dublin University/Leinster)
Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster)
Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Forwards (18) –
Declan Adamson (Clontarf/Leinster) *
Thomas Ahern (Shannon/Munster) *
Azur Allison (Ballymena/Ulster) *
Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)
Tom Clarkson (Dublin University/Leinster)
Brian Deeny (Clontarf/Leinster)
John Hodnett (UCC/Munster)
David McCann (Banbridge/Ulster)
John McKee (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Michael Milne (UCD/Leinster)
Martin Moloney (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Niall Murray (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Callum Reid (Banbridge/Ulster)
Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians/Connacht)
Charlie Ward (Clontarf/Leinster) *
Ronan Watters (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Josh Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster)
* Denotes uncapped player at Under-20 level
Unavailable due to injury
Ireland Under-20s – World Rugby U-20 Championship Fixtures
Tuesday, June 4 – England v IRELAND, CRAI, Santa Fe, 3.30pm local time/7.30pm Irish time
Saturday. June 8 – Australia v IRELAND, CRAI, Santa Fe, 10.30am local time/2.30pm Irish time
Wednesday, June 12 – Italy v IRELAND, CRAI, Santa Fe, 10.30am local time/2.30pm Irish time
Monday, June 17 – Racecourse Stadium, Rosario or Club Old Resian, Rosario
Saturday, June 22 – Racecourse Stadium, Rosario or Club Old Resian, Rosario