Ireland Under-20 head coach Noel McNamara has confirmed the 28-man squad to travel to Argentina tomorrow for the World Rugby U-20 Championship, which begins with next Tuesday’s rematch with England in Santa Fe.
Injury has unfortunately ruled out both Brian Deeny and Martin Moloney, the latter having started all five matches of Ireland’s U-20 Grand Slam-winning campaign, but two highly-rated provincial Academy players, Thomas Ahern and Azur Allison, step up along with IQ Rugby back rower Ciaran Booth.
Ahern and Booth, who both impressed when the Ireland U-19s defeated France in Corsica last month, are two of the seven uncapped players in the Ireland Under-20 travelling party. The others are Declan Adamson, Charlie Ward, and the Ulster Academy trio of Allison, Iwan Hughes and Stewart Moore.
Sponsored by PwC, the Ireland U-20s are captained by UCD and Leinster lock Charlie Ryan, who played in last summer’s tournament in France. The vice-captain role is filled by Craig Casey, the speedy Shannon and Munster scrum half who scored two tries and made three starts during the recent U-20 Six Nations.
The 2019 installment of the World Rugby U-20 Championship will run from June 4 to 22, and Santa Fe’s Club de Rugby Atheneo Immaculada is the venue for Ireland’s pool games. The play-off fixtures will take place in Rosario between the Racecourse Stadium and Club Old Resian.
McNamara’s charges share Pool B with Australia, England and Italy, and will face old rivals England, whom they defeated 35-27 in Cork in February, on the opening day. Ireland’s matches will be shown live on eir Sport, while there will be live streaming via the World Rugby website in certain regions, and ITV have the UK television rights. Tickets for the tournament are available via www.ticketek.com.ar.
IRELAND UNDER-20 Squad (2019 World Rugby U-20 Championship)
Backs (12) –
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)
Iwan Hughes (Ballynahinch/Ulster) *
Angus Kernohan (Queen’s University/Ulster)
Stewart Moore (Malone/Ulster) *
Colm Reilly (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Rob Russell (Dublin University/Leinster)
Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster)
Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Forwards (16) –
Declan Adamson (Clontarf/Leinster) *
Thomas Ahern (Shannon/Munster) *
Azur Allison (Ballymena/Ulster) *
Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)
Ciaran Booth (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby) *
Tom Clarkson (Dublin University/Leinster)
John Hodnett (UCC/Munster)
David McCann (Banbridge/Ulster)
John McKee (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Michael Milne (UCD/Leinster)
Niall Murray (Buccaneers/Connacht)
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