With just sevens weeks until the Ireland Under-20s, sponsored by PwC, are back in Under-20 Six Nations action, an extended panel of players assembled at the IRFU High Performance Centre this week to kick-start preparations for the season ahead.
A group of 37 players from across the four provinces linked up at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin on Monday and Tuesday to build towards the 2021 Championship, which is due to get underway in early February.
Ireland National Team coaches Richie Murphy and John Fogarty were among the coaching group leading the pitch sessions, while IRFU Head of Elite Player Development, Peter Smyth, and IRFU Director of Women’s and Sevens Rugby, Anthony Eddy, also provided invaluable coaching expertise and guidance to the squad.
Following all of the Covid-19 protocols in place at the IRFU High Performance Centre, the players made use of the world-class facilities on offer over the course of the two days as they familiarised themselves with the coaches, the programme and their team-mates ahead of the season ahead.
“It’s fantastic to be here for this two day camp as a lot of planning went into it,” Hendrik Kruger, IRFU Age Grade Manager, said. “Playing opportunities are limited but at least the work is going on and the players are showing their commitment.
“The aim of this camp here is to help us to get depth in our group and identify the players we would like to work with during the Six Nations. This season is unique and most of these players we have here rely on the club game, so they’re desperate to play but also the ambition to play for Ireland drives them. These guys are working very hard and for all of us, it’s uncertain but you’re just inspired by their commitment.”