Round two of the IRFU Under-19 Interprovincial Championship sees Ulster and Connacht back on home soil, as they look to turn the tables on the current pacesetters. There is a final round double header at Maynooth University on Sunday.
IRFU UNDER-19 INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP – ROUND 2: Wednesday, August 21
ULSTER UNDER-19s (4th) v MUNSTER UNDER-19s (2nd), Bangor Grammar School, 12.30pm
CONNACHT UNDER-19s (3rd) v LEINSTER UNDER-19s (1st), the Sportsground, 2.30pm
The Ulster Under-19s are boosted by the availability of Academy hooker Tom Stewart for today’s visit of Munster to Bangor Grammar School. Stewart, who played for the Ireland U-18 Schools side for the last two seasons, is one of four changes in personnel.
Coached by Jonny Gillespie and Jamie Kirk, Ulster scored three tries in their 46-24 first round defeat at defending champions Leinster. Conor McKee returns from winning the European U-18 Sevens title with Ireland last weekend to start at scrum half.
Down High School’s Greg Hutley slots in at inside centre with Luke Pollock, one of the province’s try scorers in Donnybrook, shifting to the right wing. As well as Stewart, Campbell College’s Patrick McAlpine is another new starter in the front row.
Munster’s two representatives in the Ireland U-18 Sevens squad are back on provincial duty, with CBC Cork’s Aaron Leahy lining out at full-back and Jack Ward Murphy of Ardscoil Ris on the bench. Munster have defeated Ulster in their last two U-19 Interpro meetings – 22-21 and 34-22.
Nenagh Ormond’s Conor McMahon is the other personnel change for the second round, coming in on the left wing with Jamie Shanahan covering Cian Whooley’s absence at out-half. The pack is unchanged following an encouraging first outing together in the 23-13 home win over Connacht.
Meanwhile, the Leinster back-line has been rearranged for their trip to Galway. Ed Kelly from St. Michael’s College and Matthew Cullen, the Blackrock scrum half, both come into the starting XV, while there are positional switches for Chris Cosgrave and Marcus Kiely.
The current table toppers also give first starts to CC Roscrea tighthead Shane Connolly and St. Michael’s flanker Jack Guinane, who is promoted from the bench to join his schoolmate Will Hickey and Aaron Coleman, last season’s Ireland U-18 Clubs & Schools captain, in the back row.
Connacht U-19 head coach Colm Tucker has made two personnel changes for their only home game of the Interpro campaign. Ballinasloe’s Cian Treacy is given the reins at out-half with Cathal Forde of Corinthians now stationed at inside centre.
Ballina prop Alan Duffy gets the nod at tighthead and the westerners’ bench options are boosted by the inclusion of flying Corinthians winger Diarmuid Kilcommins, another of the returning Ireland U-18 Sevens players. This Connacht crop have fond memories of claiming Leinster’s scalp at U-18 level last year.
ULSTER U-19: Matthew Corr (Ballymena Academy); Luke Pollock (Dalriada School), Jack Harte (Friends’ School, Lisburn), Greg Hutley (Down High School), Stuart Wightman (Belfast Metropolitan College); Reece Malone (Friends’ School, Lisburn), Conor McKee (Sullivan Upper School); George Saunderson (Sullivan Upper School), Tom Stewart (Belfast Royal Academy), Patrick McAlpine (Campbell College, Belfast), Matthew Sands (City of Armagh RFC), Harry Sheridan (Sullivan Upper School), Will Hopes (Regent House School), Reuben Crothers (Wallace High School) (capt), Jack Gamble (Ballyclare High School).
Replacements: Joel Dundas (Wallace High School), Adam Hanna (Banbridge Academy), Scott Hutton (Belfast HS), David Stinson (Enniskillen Royal GS), Peter Heasley (Wallace High School), Dara Gaskin (Campbell College, Belfast), Matthew Hamilton (Malone RFC), Callum Davidson (Methodist College), Justin White (Enniskillen Royal GS).
MUNSTER U-19: Aaron Leahy (CBC Cork); Killian Dineen (Ardscoil Ris), Harry O’Riordan (CBC Cork) (capt), Jack Delaney (Crescent College Comprehensive), Conor McMahon (Nenagh Ormond RFC); Jamie Shanahan (Skibbereen RFC), John O’Sullivan (Rockwell College); Liam Bishop (Nottingham RFC), Billy Kingston (PBC Cork), Mark Donnelly (CBC Cork), John Moloney (Castletroy College), John Forde (PBC Cork), Fearghail O’Donoghue (Cashel RFC), Jack Kelleher (PBC Cork), Daniel Okeke (Ardscoil Ris).
Replacements: Joe Rickard (Crescent College), Matt McCarthy (Clonakilty RFC), Craig Finn (St. Munchin’s College), Will O’Callaghan (Ardscoil Ris), Jack Ward Murphy (Ardscoil Ris), Mark O’Connor (CBC Cork), Alan Flannery (Rockwell College), Tim Hegarty (Old Christians RFC).
CONNACHT U-19: Conor O’Shaughnessy (Galwegians RFC); Hubert Gilvarry (Sligo RFC), Shane Jennings (Ballinasloe RFC), Cathal Forde (Corinthians RFC), Rory McCleane (Corinthians RFC); Cian Treacy (Ballinasloe RFC), Aodha Hession (Creggs RFC); Conal O’Griofa (Corinthians RFC), Eoin de Buitléar (Corinthians RFC), Alan Duffy (Ballina RFC), Cathal Fleming (Monivea RFC), Darragh Murray (Buccaneers RFC), Diarmuid McCormack (Corinthians RFC) (capt), Gavin Meagher (Roscrea RFC), Donnacha Byrne (Sligo RFC).
Replacements: Matthew Earley (Carrick-on-Shannon RFC), Caolan Hopkins (Ballina RFC), Cian Scanlon (Corinthians RFC), Martin Fallon (Buccaneers RFC), Hubert Costello (Corinthians RFC), Harry Ballsiger (Buccaneers RFC), Luke Hogge (Sligo RFC), Diarmuid Kilcommins (Corinthians RFC).
LEINSTER U-19: Jamie Osborne (Naas RFC); Ed Kelly (St. Michael’s College), Chris Cosgrave (St. Michael’s College), Karl Martin (Boyne RFC), Marcus Kiely (Newbridge College); Tim Corkery (Kilkenny RFC), Matthew Cullen (Blackrock College); Hugo O’Malley (Blackrock College), Ronan Loughnane (CC Roscrea), Shane Connolly (CC Roscrea), Alex Soroka (Belvedere College), Joe McCarthy (Blackrock College), Jack Guinane (St. Michael’s College), Aaron Coleman (Belvedere College), Will Hickey (St. Michael’s College).
Replacements: Temi Adewunmi-Lasisi (Enniscorthy RFC), Levi Vaughan (Terenure College), Sam Illo (Wesley College), Jack Coolican (Gonzaga College), Steven Walsh (King’s Hospital), Harry Colbert (Gonzaga College), Justin Leonard (Belvedere College), Simon O’Kelly (St. Michael’s College).
IRFU UNDER-19 INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP – TOP SCORERS AFTER ROUND 1:
16 – Chris Cosgrave (Leinster)
10 – Reuben Crothers (Ulster), Tim Hegarty (Munster), Matthew McGetrick-Stafford (Leinster)
9 – Reece Malone (Ulster)
8 – Jack Delaney (Munster), Cathal Forde (Connacht)
2 – Reuben Crothers (Ulster), Tim Hegarty (Munster), Matthew McGetrick-Stafford (Leinster)
1 – Killian Dineen (Munster), Cathal Fleming (Connacht), Ronan Loughnane (Leinster), Ben Murphy (Leinster), Jamie Osborne (Leinster), Luke Pollock (Ulster), Alex Soroka (Leinster)