Big crowds are expected again at the University of Limerick grounds today as the IRFU Under-18 Men’s Interprovincial Festival hits the halfway point. The U-18 Clubs competition’s top of the table clash between Connacht and Leinster kicks off at 5pm.
IRFU UNDER-18 MEN’S INTERPROVINCIAL RUGBY FESTIVAL – ROUND 2: Wednesday, August 21
MUNSTER U-18 CLUBS (4th) v ULSTER U-18 CLUBS (3rd), University of Limerick, 1pm
ULSTER U-18 SCHOOLS (4th) v MUNSTER U-18 SCHOOLS (2nd), University of Limerick, 3pm
CONNACHT U-18 CLUBS & SCHOOLS (2nd) v LEINSTER U-18 CLUBS (1st), University of Limerick, 5pm
LEINSTER U-18 SCHOOLS (1st) v IQ RUGBY (3rd), University of Limerick, 7pm
Matchday two in Limerick begins with the meeting of Munster and Ulster’s U-18 Clubs teams, both of whom are aiming to bounce back from scoreless second halves the last day. The short turnaround sees both coaches make a number of changes.
Mallow winger Anthony Castillo, Galbally prop Bradley Aherne, Bruff lock Diarmuid Dennehy and Thurles flanker Sam Quinlan have all been promoted from the Munster bench, with the latter’s club-mate, Owen Byrne, switching from the left wing to full-back.
Ulster will also be targeting a more complete performance after falling away in the second half against defending champions Connacht. Head coach Jonny Graham has backed his starters from that game, making just one change as Rainey Old Boys’ Ben McCullough comes in at hooker.
The second Munster-Ulster contest of the day bring together the best of the provinces’ Schools talent. The Munster Schools side showed impressive powers of recovery to erase IQ Rugby’s 15-point lead last Saturday and post a hard-fought four-point victory in the end.
The Munster bench was influential in that second half fight-back and they are collectively rewarded with nine personnel changes. Alexander Wood, son of former Ireland captain Keith Wood, combines with his St. Munchin’s College team-mate Donnacha O’Callaghan at half-back.
Conor O’Shaughnessy, another Munchin’s representative, is selected on the right wing, while there are first starts up front for the CBC Cork quartet of Luke McAuliffe, Corey Hanlon, Jason Aherne and Dylan O’Connor, along with Munchin’s duo Kean Sheehy and Liam Neilan.
Fresh from winning the European title with the Ireland U-18 Sevens team, RBAI’s Jude Postlethwaite fills the inside centre berth for Willie Faloon’s Ulster youngsters. Methody’s Luke Graham moves to full-back and a couple of alterations in the pack see Harry Andrews at hooker and Callum Smyton at openside.
With Leinster and Connacht level on five points at the top of the U-18 Clubs competition’s table, it is no surprise to see their respective coaches, Joe Carbery and JP Walsh, have kept the changes to a minimum for their UL showdown this evening.
Westport and Rice College’s Conaill Muldoon is brought into the Connacht second row, with the westerners’ full-back Mark Purcell (16 points) topping the scoring charts after the opening round. All-action Ballinasloe scrum half Matthew Devine will be looking to add to his brace of tries.
Leinster pair Jack Hanlon and Conor Duffy also had try doubles last Saturday, including a terrific intercept score from Duffy, the strong-running Tullow number 8. Balbriggan’s Aitzol King caught the eye too with a try-scoring cameo, and he starts this time in the back-three, replacing Tadhg Finlay.
For the final game of the day, Leinster U-18 Schools head coach Andy Skehan has made eight changes in personnel. There is plenty of rotation for the match against IQ Rugby with the eastern province’s back-line now led by St. Michael’s College duo Hugo McWade and Fintan Gunne.
Daniel Hawkshaw, younger brother of last season’s Ireland U-20 captain David Hawkshaw, forms a new centre partnership with Newbridge’s Lucas Berti Newman. The final back-line changes sees Zach Harrison from St. Michael’s selected on the left wing.
Jonathan Sargent and his Belvedere College schoolmate Eoghan Rutledge come in at loosehead prop and openside flanker respectively, while Blackrock pair Scott Barron and David Walsh will also pack down against the Exiles outfit.
The IQ Rugby selection contains nine changes to the side that was edged out by Munster in their tournament opener. Millfield School’s Ciaran Donoghue and Rory Morgan of London Irish will direct operations in the backs, with Craig Bateman, who has Munster Schools Cup experience with Bandon, and Gabriel Dunne also introduced.
Ethan Pearce-Cowley, Dominic Hey and Tom Parker swap in as an all-new starting front row, and with the South African-based Will MacDonald moving to the blindside, Oaklands College’s Luke O’Rourke will line out at lock. Harrow’s James Griffin joins MacDonald and Lorcan McLoughlin in the back row.
MUNSTER U-18 CLUBS: Owen Byrne (Thurles RFC); Ihechi Oji (Douglas/Carrigaline RFC), Luke Underwood Doyle (Waterford City RFC), James Finn (Nenagh Ormond RFC), Anthony Castillo (Mallow RFC); Tony Butler (Ennis RFC), Ethan Coughlan (Ennis RFC); Bradley Aherne (Galbally RFC), Dylan Murphy (Nenagh Ormond RFC) (capt), Darragh McCarthy (Cobh Pirates RFC), Edwin Edugobo (Cobh Pirates RFC), Diarmuid Dennehy (Bruff RFC), Conor Moloney (Ennis RFC), Sam Quinlan (Thurles RFC), Jack O’Sullivan (Cobh Pirates RFC).
Replacements: Thomas Land (Midleton RFC), Daniel McCarthy (Midleton RFC), Kian Regan (Tralee RFC), David Bamidele (Cork Constitution FC), Shane Cawley (Waterpark RFC), PJ Cronin (Cobh Pirates RFC), Seamus Lynn (Tralee RFC), Jaymes O’Sullivan (Cashel RFC), Guilherme Patricio Ventura (Highfield RFC), Fabian Loughrey (Sunday’s Well RFC).
ULSTER U-18 CLUBS: Thomas Leitch (Sullivan Upper School); Stuart Brown (Enniskillen RGS), Cameron McCaughey (Down HS), Tyler McNeill (Coleraine GS), Zac Moraghan (Sullivan Upper School); Thomas McDevitt (Instonians RFC), Adam Scott (RS Dungannon); Owen Warren (Ballyclare HS), Ben McCullough (Rainey Old Boys RFC), Joe Charles (Down HS), James McNabney (Cambridge House), John Glasgow (City of Armagh RFC), Sam Glasgow (City of Armagh RFC), Jack Milton (Ballyclare RFC) (capt), James Crummie (City of Armagh RFC).
Replacements: Robbie Grant (Bangor GS), Jamie Allen (RS Dungannon), Philip Nicholl (City of Armagh RFC), Lewis Beattie (Ballymena RFC), Jack Alexander (Ballymena RFC), Sebastian Hastings (Rainey Endowed), Adam Sheriff (Virginia RFC), Ben Goodfellow (Cambridge House), Elliot Donaldson (Belfast Royal Academy), Josh Kyle (Omagh Academy).
ULSTER U-18 SCHOOLS: Luke Graham (Methodist College); Rory Telfer (Coleraine GS), Ben Carson (Wallace HS), Jude Postlethwaite (RBAI), Jamie McNeight (Wallace HS); Ross McKay (Ballymena Academy), James Wright (Ballymena Academy); Harry Andrews (Ballymena Academy), James McCormick (Dalriada School) (capt), Joseph Mawhinney (Ballymena Academy), Paddy Browne (Ballymena Academy), Charlie Irvine (Wallace HS), Ryan Finlay (RS Armagh), Callum Smyton (Enniskillen Royal GS), Adam Lamont (Ballymena Academy).
Replacements: Andrew Donald (Ballymena Academy), David Braden (Omagh Academy), Jack Boal (Campbell College), Peter O’Hagan (Methodist College), Paddy Eames (RBAI), Josh King (RS Armagh), Josh Drain (Ballymena Academy), Tim Bailie (Ballymena Academy), Jordan Millar (Ballymena Academy), Ethan Bryce (Methodist College).
MUNSTER U-18 SCHOOLS: Darragh French (PBC Cork); Conor O’Shaughnessy (St. Munchin’s College), Will Twomey (Glenstal Abbey School) (capt), Darragh Casserly (Crescent College Comprehensive), Daniel Hurley (PBC Cork); Alexander Wood (St. Munchin’s College), Donnacha O’Callaghan (St. Munchin’s College); Kean Sheehy (St. Munchin’s College), Luke McAuliffe (CBC Cork), Corey Hanlon (CBC Cork), Jason Aherne (CBC Cork), James Morrison (CBC Cork), Sam O’Sullivan (PBC Cork), Dylan O’Connor (CBC Cork/Kanturk RFC), Liam Neilan (St. Munchin’s College).
Replacements: Ronan O’Sullivan (CBC Cork), Kieran Ryan (St. Munchin’s College), Darragh McSweeney (PBC Cork), Dean O’Grady (Crescent College Comprehensive), James O’Donovan (Bandon Grammar School), Nick Greene (Bandon Grammar School), Jack Oliver (Castletroy College), Shane Buckley (CBC Cork), George Coomber (CBC Cork), Sam Hanrahan (Castletroy College).
CONNACHT U-18 CLUBS & SCHOOLS: Mark Purcell (Creggs RFC/Roscommon CBS); Darragh Kennedy (Galwegians RFC/Clifden GS), Tom Shine (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College), John Devine (Ballinasloe RFC/Garbally College), Declan O’Loughlin (Corinthians RFC/Colaiste Cholmcille); Ruaidhri Fallon (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College), Matthew Devine (Ballinasloe RFC/Garbally College); Eddie Coyle (Sligo RFC/Sligo Grammar School), Kolo Kiripati (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College), Jack Tucker (Creggs RFC/Roscommon CBS), Conaill Muldoon (Westport RFC/Rice College), Sam Fogarty (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College), Mark Mitchell (Buccaneers RFC/Garbally College), John Claffey (Ballinasloe RFC/Garbally College), Kacper Palamarczuk (Westport RFC/SlIgo Grammar School) (capt).
Replacements: Deema Feehan (Buccaneers RFC/Gallen CS), Joe Agbo (Galwegians RFC/St. Joseph’s Patrician College), Kieran Egan (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College), Fiachna Barrett (Ballina RFC/St. Brendan’s Belmullet), Micheal Broaders (Sligo RFC/Summerhill College), Adam Nash (Buccaneers RFC/Roscrea Community College), Andrew Sherlock (Galwegians RFC/Colaiste Iognaid), Harry West (Ballina RFC/Kings Hospital), Blaine Barry (Connemara RFC/Cistercian College), Shea Hennessy (Monivea RFC/Garbally College), Zak Rather (Galwegians RFC/Colaiste na Coiribe).
LEINSTER U-18 CLUBS: Andrew Osborne (Naas RFC); Aitzol King (Balbriggan RFC), Dylan McDermott (Tullamore RFC), David Dooley (Tullamore RFC), Jack Hanlon (Tullow RFC); Fionn O’Hara (Mullingar RFC), Culann Carbery (Athy RFC); Oisin Michel (Cill Dara RFC), Barry Gray (Co. Carlow FC), George Hadden (Gorey RFC), Ruairi Clarke (Cill Dara RFC), Sean Walsh (Seapoint RFC), Paul Deeny (Wexford Wanderers RFC), Abdul Olaskaban (Balbriggan RFC), Conor Duffy (Tullow RFC).
Replacements: Stephen Carroll (Tullow RFC), Ben Popplewell (Wexford Wanderers RFC), Daniel Adekunle (North Meath RFC), Josh O’Hare (Dundalk RFC), Dylan Lynch (Boyne RFC), Adam Treanor (Mullingar RFC), Conor Gibney (Mullingar RFC), Jamie Cooper (Tullow RFC), Oscar King (Boyne RFC), Josh Ascough (Seapoint RFC), Stefan Bors (Boyne RFC).
LEINSTER U-18 SCHOOLS: Dylan O’Grady (Belvedere College); Tom Henderson (Blackrock College), Lucas Berti Newman (Newbridge College), Daniel Hawkshaw (Belvedere College), Zach Harrison (St. Michael’s College); Hugo McWade (St. Michael’s College), Fintan Gunne (St. Michael’s College); Jonathan Sargent (Belvedere College), Scott Barron (Blackrock College), Rory McGuire (Blackrock College), Mark Morrissey (Blackrock College), Diarmuid Mangan (Newbridge College), Stephen Woods (St. Michael’s College), Eoghan Rutledge (Belvedere College), David Walsh (Blackrock College).
Replacements: Freddy Happonen (St. Gerard’s College), Jack Boyle (St. Michael’s College), Luke McMahon (Clongowes Wood College), Donough Lawlor (Newbridge College), Conor Booth (St. Michael’s College), Michael Moloney (Blackrock College), Charlie Tector (Kilkenny College), Shane Mallon (CC Roscrea), Cameron Baird (St. Michael’s College), Calum O’Reilly (St. Michael’s College), Fionn Gibbons (Castleknock College).
IQ RUGBY: Chay Mullins (SGS Filton College/Bristol Bears); Jacob Richards (Langley Park School For Boys), Harrison Murphy (SGS Filton College/Bristol Bears), Craig Bateman (Bandon Grammar School/Munster), Gabriel Dunne (European School Luxembourg); Ciaran Donoghue (Millfield School), Rory Morgan (St. Paul’s Catholic College/London Irish); Ethan Pearce-Cowley (Truro School), Dominic Hey (Burford School/Gloucester Rugby), Tom Parker (Princethorpe College), Harry Gilson-Fox (Easingwold School/Yorkshire Carnegie), Luke O’Rourke (Oaklands College), Will MacDonald (Rondebosch Boys High School), James Griffin (Harrow School), Lorcan McLoughlin (Sherborne School).
Replacements: Owen Chaplin (Gosforth Academy/Newcastle Falcons), Alessandro Heaney (Wellington College), Michael Summerfield (Harrow Way School/London Irish), James O’Sullivan (Merchant Taylors’ School), Joe Harmen (John Hampden Grammar School), Henry McAllister (Ipswich School), Pierce O’Toole (Harrow School), Theo Smerdon (Ampleforth College/Yorkshire Carnegie), Conor Turbett (Warlingham School).
IRFU UNDER-18 MEN’S INTERPROVINCIAL RUGBY FESTIVAL – TOP SCORERS AFTER ROUND 1:
10 – Rory McGuire (Leinster)
6 – Charlie Tector (Leinster)
5 – Jack Boyle (Leinster), Ben Carson (Ulster), Owen Chaplin (IQ Rugby), George Coomber (Munster), Fionn Gibbons (Leinster), Nick Greene (Munster), James McCormick (Ulster), Chay Mullins (IQ Rugby), Donnacha O’Callaghan (Munster), Dylan O’Grady (Leinster), Pierce O’Toole (IQ Rugby)
4 – Shane Buckley (Munster)
2 – Rory McGuire (Leinster)
1 – Jack Boyle (Leinster), Ben Carson (Ulster), Owen Chaplin (IQ Rugby), George Coomber (Munster), Fionn Gibbons (Leinster), Nick Greene (Munster), James McCormick (Ulster), Chay Mullins (IQ Rugby), Donnacha O’Callaghan (Munster), Dylan O’Grady (Leinster)
16 – Mark Purcell (Connacht)
10 – Matthew Devine (Connacht), Conor Duffy (Leinster), Jack Hanlon (Leinster), Fionn O’Hara (Leinster)
9 – Thomas McDevitt (Ulster)
5 – Tony Butler (Munster), Elliot Donaldson (Ulster), Conor Moloney (Munster), Declan O’Loughlin (Connacht), Jack Tucker (Connacht)
2 – Matthew Devine (Connacht), Conor Duffy (Leinster), Jack Hanlon (Leinster)
1 – Elliot Donaldson (Ulster), David Dooley (Leinster), Aitzol King (Leinster), Thomas McDevitt (Ulster), Conor Moloney (Munster), Declan O’Loughlin (Connacht), Mark Purcell (Connacht), Jack Tucker (Connacht)