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Russell And Watters Handed First Ireland U-20 Starts

Russell And Watters Handed First Ireland U-20 Starts

The Ireland Under-20s' next opponents, Australia, also made a winning start to the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Santa Fe on Tuesday ©INPHO/Pablo Gasparini

The Ireland Under-20 team, sponsored by PwC, to play Australia in the second round of the World Rugby U-20 Championship in Santa Fe on Saturday (kick-off 10.30am local time/2.30pm Irish time – live on eir Sport 2) has been announced.

There are two enforced changes to the side that started the 42-26 bonus point win over England, with Iwan Hughes, who made his Ireland U-20 debut at full-back, ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a finger injury. Sean French will also miss the remaining games after sustaining a facial injury.

With Azur Allison going through the return-to-play protocols, St. Mary’s College clubman Ronan Watters comes in at openside flanker for his first Ireland U-20 start. John Hodnett, the scorer of Ireland’s sixth and final try against England, moves to number 8 with fellow try scorer David McCann continuing on the blindside.

The rest of the pack, led by captain Charlie Ryan, is unchanged as is the Shannon and Munster half-back pairing of Jake Flannery and Craig Casey. Ulster Academy centre Stewart Moore features again in midfield alongside Liam Turner, while Dublin University’s Rob Russell gets his first start at full-back, joining Angus Kernohan and Jonathan Wren in the back-three.

Head coach Noel McNamara has called up Leinster pair Aaron O’Sullivan and Max O’Reilly in place of French and Hughes but they will not be in the matchday squad this weekend. Australia are just ahead of Ireland on scoring difference at the top of Pool B, having won their opening fixture 36-12 against Italy.

The Australia v Ireland clash will be shown live on eir Sport 2 on Saturday, while there will be live streaming via the World Rugby website in certain regions, and ITV hold the UK television rights. Tickets for the tournament are available via www.ticketek.com.ar.

IRELAND UNDER-20 Team & Replacements (v Australia Under-20s, 2019 World Rugby U-20 Championship – Pool B, Club de Rugby Atheneo Immaculada, Santa Fe, Argentina, Saturday, June 8, kick-off 10.30am local time/2.30pm Irish time):

15. Rob Russell (Dublin University/Leinster)
14. Angus Kernohan (Queen’s University/Ulster)
13. Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster)
12. Stewart Moore (Malone/Ulster)
11. Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution/Munster)
10. Jake Flannery (Shannon/Munster)
9. Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster)
1. Josh Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster)
2. Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians/Connacht)
3. Thomas Clarkson (Dublin University/Leinster)
4. Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
5. Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)
6. David McCann (Banbridge/Ulster)
7. Ronan Watters (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
8. John Hodnett (UCC/Munster)


16. John McKee (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
17. Michael Milne (UCD/Leinster)
18. Charlie Ward (Clontarf/Leinster)
19. Declan Adamson (Clontarf/Leinster) *
20. Niall Murray (Buccaneers/Connacht)
22. Ciaran Booth (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)
23. Thomas Ahern (Shannon/Munster) *
24. Colm Reilly (Buccaneers/Connacht)
25. Ben Healy (Garryowen/Munster)
26. Cormac Foley (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)

* Denotes uncapped player at this level

Ireland Under-20s – World Rugby U-20 Championship Results/Fixtures


Tuesday, June 4 – England 26 IRELAND 42, CRAI, Santa Fe

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