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U-18 Men’s Interprovincial Festival: Round 3 Preview

U-18 Men’s Interprovincial Festival: Round 3 Preview

Connacht U-18 Clubs captain Kacper Palamarczuk tries to break away from Leinster's Paul Deeny at the University of Limerick grounds ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

A thrilling final day awaits at the IRFU Under-18 Men’s Interprovincial Festival in Limerick as the winners are crowned in both the U-18 Clubs and U-18 Schools competitions.


ULSTER U-18 SCHOOLS (3rd) v IQ RUGBY (4th), University of Limerick, 11am

LEINSTER U-18 CLUBS (1st) v ULSTER U-18 CLUBS (4th), University of Limerick, 1pm

MUNSTER U-18 CLUBS (3rd) v CONNACHT U-18 CLUBS & SCHOOLS (2nd), University of Limerick, 3pm

MUNSTER U-18 SCHOOLS (2nd) v LEINSTER U-18 SCHOOLS (1st), University of Limerick, 5pm

U-18 Men’s Interprovincial Festival: Round 2 Review/Try Highlights

U-18 Men’s Interprovincial Festival: Round 2 Photo Gallery

Three teams are still in the running to lift the U-18 Clubs Interprovincial trophy, with unbeaten Leinster on nine points, last year’s winners Connacht sitting on six, and Munster’s five-point haul putting them third heading into the final round.

Joe Carbery’s Leinster side could seal the title by mid-afternoon as they take on bottom-placed Ulster in the 1pm kick-off. Mullingar winger Conor Gibney is the only change to their back-line, with Ben Popplewell, son of former Ireland and Lions prop Nick Popplewell, getting the nod at loosehead.

Boyne’s Oscar King and John Ascough from Tullow join captain Conor Duffy in Leinster’s back row, while Ulster head coach Jonny Gillespie has rearranged his back-line, bringing in Belfast Royal Academy’s Elliot Donaldson for his first start on the left wing.

Zac Moraghan switches wings with Enniskillen RGS’ Stuart Brown now stationed at inside centre and Coleraine GS’ Tyler McNeill moved to out-half. Bangor GS prop Robbie Grant and Ballymena duo Lewis Beattie and Jack Alexander are promoted from the bench to the starting pack.

The Munster U-18 Clubs team posted their first win on Wednesday, overcoming Ulster on a 24-7 scoreline. Their starting XV to play Connacht shows just two changes with Tralee prop Kian Regan and Cobh Pirates flanker PJ Cronin restored for their second starts of the tournament.

Smarting from a 19-12 loss to Leinster, the Connacht U-18 Clubs & Schools outfit will be looking to close out their campaign with a return to winning ways. There are first starts for Monivea’s Shea Hennessy and Zak Rather of Galwegians in the back-line, along with Sligo lock Micheal Broaders.

Today’s opening match also offers IQ Rugby and the Ulster U-18 Schools the chance to end the Festival on a high. IQ Rugby have been ultra competitive in the first two rounds, falling just short of beating Munster before doubling their bonus point haul with four tries against table-topping Leinster.

With Ulster’s five changes in personnel, there are first starts for wingers Ethan Bryce and Finn Rankin as well as RBAI flanker Paddy Eames. Omagh Academy prop David Braden and RS Armagh openside Josh King both return up front having started against Leinster last weekend.

Leinster have an unassailable lead at the top of the U-18 Schools standings, sitting on 10 points after picking up try-scoring bonus points against both Ulster and IQ Rugby. Head coach Andy Skehan knows they will need to be at their best in order to complete the clean sweep against their Munster counterparts.

He has selected the same Leinster side that saw off Ulster 34-13 in the opening round. The most significant of the eight changes sees Kilkenny College’s Charlie Tector and Michael Moloney from Blackrock paired together again at half-back. Castleknock’s Fionn Gibbons reverts to outside centre.

Blackrock tighthead Rory McGuire, the tournament’s top try scorer with four tries, is rejoined in the front row by Jack Boyle and Freddy Happonen. The Munster pack is almost identical to their first round selection, with props Kieran Ryan and Darragh McSweeney back in the line-up.

PBC Cork’s Sam O’Sullivan reverts to the second row, while the loose forwards are made up of Crescent College’s Dean O’Grady and Bandon Grammar School pair Nick Greene and James O’Donovan, the latter lining out at number 8.

Daniel Hurley and Darragh French, Munster’s two try scorers in their 18-10 defeat to Ulster, will form a new centre partnership, with the half-back berths filled by CBC Cork’s Shane Buckley, who takes over the captaincy, and Jack Oliver of Castletroy College. George Coomber and Sam Hanrahan complete the back-line changes.

ULSTER U-18 SCHOOLS: Luke Graham (Methodist College); Ethan Bryce (Methodist College), Ben Carson (Wallace HS), Jude Postlethwaite (RBAI), Finn Rankin (Wallace HS); Ross McKay (Ballymena Academy), James Wright (Ballymena Academy); David Braden (Omagh Academy), James McCormick (Dalriada School) (capt), Joseph Mawhinney (Ballymena Academy), Paddy Browne (Ballymena Academy), Charlie Irvine (Wallace HS), Paddy Eames (RBAI), Josh King (RS Armagh), Callum Smyton (Enniskillen Royal GS).

Replacements: Andrew Donald (Ballymena Academy), Harry Andrews (Ballymena Academy), Jack Boal (Campbell College), Peter O’Hagan (Methodist College), Ryan Finlay (RS Armagh), Adam Lamont (Ballymena Academy), Tim Bailie (Ballymena Academy), Josh Drain (Ballymena Academy), Jordan Millar (Ballymena Academy), Jamie McNeight (Wallace HS), Rory Telfer (Coleraine GS).


LEINSTER U-18 CLUBS: Andrew Osborne (Naas RFC); Conor Gibney (Mullingar RFC), Dylan McDermott (Tullamore RFC), David Dooley (Tullamore RFC), Jack Hanlon (Tullow RFC); Fionn O’Hara (Mullingar RFC), Culann Carbery (Athy RFC); Ben Popplewell (Wexford Wanderers RFC), Barry Gray (Carlow RFC), George Hadden (Gorey RFC), Ruairi Clarke (Cill Dara RFC), Sean Walsh (Seapoint RFC), Oscar King (Boyne RFC), John Ascough (Tullow RFC), Conor Duffy (Tullow RFC) (capt).

Replacements: Stephen Carroll (Tullow RFC), Oisin Michel (Cill Dara RFC), Daniel Adekunle (North Meath RFC), Josh O’Hare (Dundalk RFC), Dylan Lynch (Boyne RFC), Adam Treanor (Mullingar RFC), Aitzol King (Balbriggan RFC), Jamie Cooper (Tullow RFC), Paul Deeny (Wexford Wanderers RFC), Abdul Olaskaban (Balbriggan RFC), Stefan Bors (Boyne RFC).

ULSTER U-18 CLUBS: Thomas Leitch (Sullivan Upper School); Zac Moraghan (Sullivan Upper School), Cameron McCaughey (Down HS), Stuart Brown (Enniskillen RGS), Elliot Donaldson (Belfast Royal Academy); Tyler McNeill (Coleraine GS), Adam Scott (RS Dungannon); Robbie Grant (Bangor GS), Ben McCullough (Rainey Old Boys RFC), Joe Charles (Down HS), Lewis Beattie (Ballymena RFC), John Glasgow (City of Armagh RFC), Jack Alexander (Ballymena RFC), Jack Milton (Ballyclare RFC) (capt), James Crummie (City of Armagh RFC).

Replacements: Jamie Allen (RS Dungannon), Joel Smyth (Omagh Academy), Owen Warren (Ballyclare HS), Scott Dennis (Belfast HS), Sebastian Hastings (Rainey Endowed), Adam Sheriff (Virginia RFC), Thomas McDevitt (Instonians RFC), Ben Goodfellow (Cambridge House), Josh Kyle (Omagh Academy).

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); Kian Regan (Tralee 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), PJ Cronin (Cobh Pirates RFC), Jack O’Sullivan (Cobh Pirates RFC).

Replacements: Thomas Land (Midleton RFC), Shane Crawley (Waterpark RFC), Bradley Aherne (Galbally RFC), David Bambidele (Cork Constitution FC), Daniel McCarthy (Midleton RFC), Sam Quilan (Thurles RFC), Fabian Loughrey (Sunday’s Well RFC), Seamus Lynn (Tralee RFC), Jaymes O’Sullivan (Cashel RFC), Guilherme Patricio Ventura (Highfield RFC).

CONNACHT U-18 CLUBS & SCHOOLS: Mark Purcell (Creggs RFC/Roscommon CBS); Shea Hennessy (Monivea RFC/Garbally College), John Devine (Ballinasloe RFC/Garbally College), Zak Rather (Galwegians RFC/Colaiste na Coiribe), 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), Micheal Broaders (Sligo RFC/Summerhill College), Conaill Muldoon (Westport RFC/Rice College), Mark Mitchell (Buccaneers RFC/Garbally College), John Claffey (Buccaneers 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), Sam Fogarty (Buccaneers RFC/Marist 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), Darragh Kennedy (Galwegians RFC/Clifden GS), Tom Shine (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College).

MUNSTER U-18 SCHOOLS: George Coomber (CBC Cork); Sam Hanrahan (Castletroy College), Daniel Hurley (PBC Cork), Darragh French (PBC Cork), Conor O’Shaughnessy (St. Munchin’s College); Shane Buckley (CBC Cork) (capt), Jack Oliver (Castletroy College); Kieran Ryan (St. Munchin’s College), Luke McAuliffe (CBC Cork), Darragh McSweeney (PBC Cork), Sam O’Sullivan (PBC Cork), James Morrison (CBC Cork), Dean O’Grady (Crescent College Comprehensive), Nick Greene (Bandon Grammar School), James O’Donovan (Bandon Grammar School).

Replacements: Ronan O’Sullivan (CBC Cork), Kean Sheehy (St. Munchin’s College), Corey Hanlon (CBC Cork), Jason Aherne (CBC Cork), Dylan O’Connor (Kanturk RFC/CBC Cork), Liam Neilan (St. Munchin’s College), Donnacha O’Callaghan (St. Munchin’s College), Alexander Wood (St. Munchin’s College), Liam McCarthy (Bandon Grammar School), Darragh Casserly (Crescent College Comprehensive), Will Twomey (Glenstal Abbey School).

LEINSTER U-18 SCHOOLS: Dylan O’Grady (Belvedere College); Tom Henderson (Blackrock College), Fionn Gibbons (Castleknock College), Hugo McWade (St. Michael’s College), Shane Mallon (CC Roscrea); Charlie Tector (Kilkenny College), Michael Moloney (Blackrock College); Jack Boyle (St. Michael’s College), Freddy Happonen (St. Gerard’s College), Rory McGuire (Blackrock College), Mark Morrissey (Blackrock College) (capt), Diarmuid Mangan (Newbridge College), Stephen Woods (St. Michael’s College), Conor Booth (St. Michael’s College), Donough Lawlor (Newbridge College).

Replacements:Scott Barron (Blackrock College), Jonathan Sargent (Belvedere College), Luke McMahon (Clongowes Wood College), Noah Pim (Kilkenny College), Eoghan Rutledge (Belvedere College), Fintan Gunne (St. Michael’s College), Calum O’Reilly (St. Michael’s College), Zach Harrison (St. Michael’s College), Cameron Baird (St. Michael’s College), Daniel Hawkshaw (Belvedere College), Lucas Berti Newman (Newbridge College).




20 – Rory McGuire (Leinster)

10 – Jack Boyle (Leinster), Zach Harrison (Leinster), James McCormick (Ulster), Lorcan McLoughlin (IQ Rugby), Charlie Tector (Leinster)

6 – Ross McKay (Ulster)

5 – Scott Barron (Leinster), Ben Carson (Ulster), Owen Chaplin (IQ Rugby), George Coomber (Munster), Darragh French (Munster), Fionn Gibbons (Leinster), Nick Greene (Munster), Daniel Hawkshaw (Leinster), Daniel Hurley (Munster), Jamie McNeight (Ulster), Chay Mullins (IQ Rugby), Donnacha O’Callaghan (Munster), Dylan O’Grady (Leinster), James O’Sullivan (IQ Rugby), Pierce O’Toole (IQ Rugby), Jacob Richards (IQ Rugby), Rory Telfer (Ulster)

4 – Shane Buckley (Munster)


4 – Rory McGuire (Leinster)

2 – Jack Boyle (Leinster), James McCormick (Ulster), Lorcan McLoughlin (IQ Rugby)

1 – Scott Barron (Leinster), Ben Carson (Ulster), Owen Chaplin (IQ Rugby), George Coomber (Munster), Darragh French (Munster), Fionn Gibbons (Leinster), Nick Greene (Munster), Daniel Hawkshaw (Leinster), Daniel Hurley (Munster), Jamie McNeight (Ulster), Chay Mullins (IQ Rugby), Donnacha O’Callaghan (Munster), Dylan O’Grady (Leinster), James O’Sullivan (IQ Rugby), Jacob Richards (IQ Rugby), Rory Telfer (Ulster)



16 – Mark Purcell (Connacht)

15 – Conor Duffy (Leinster), Jack Hanlon (Leinster)

14 – Fionn O’Hara (Leinster)

11 – Thomas McDevitt (Ulster)

10 – Matthew Devine (Connacht), Aitzol King (Leinster)

9 – Tony Butler (Munster)

5 – Anthony Castillo (Munster), Elliot Donaldson (Ulster), David Dooley (Leinster), Kolo Kiripati (Connacht), Darragh McCarthy (Munster), Jack Milton (Ulster), Conor Moloney (Munster), Ihechi Oji (Munster), Declan O’Loughlin (Connacht), Kacper Palamarczuk (Connacht), Jack Tucker (Connacht), Luke Underwood Doyle (Munster)


3 – Conor Duffy (Leinster), Jack Hanlon (Leinster)

2 – Matthew Devine (Connacht), Aitzol King (Leinster)

1 – Anthony Castillo (Munster), Elliot Donaldson (Ulster), David Dooley (Leinster), Kolo Kiripati (Connacht), Darragh McCarthy (Munster), Thomas McDevitt (Ulster), Jack Milton (Ulster), Conor Moloney (Munster), Ihechi Oji (Munster), Declan O’Loughlin (Connacht), Kacper Palamarczuk (Connacht), Mark Purcell (Connacht), Jack Tucker (Connacht), Luke Underwood Doyle (Munster)