Head coach Richie Murphy has named his Ireland Under-20 team, sponsored by PwC, for Thursday’s U-20 Six Nations round 3 encounter with England at Cardiff Arms Park (kick-off 8pm).
Ireland opened their Championship campaign with bonus point wins over Scotland and Wales, and Murphy has made two changes in personnel to his starting XV for the much-anticipated showdown with England.
Temi Lasisi and Sam Illo return to the front row as the Ireland management continue to carefully manage resources and the squad’s workload, with Cork native Alex Kendellen once again captaining the side from the back row.
Murphy has selected an unchanged back-line as Jamie Osborne, Ben Moxham and Chris Cosgrave line up in the back-three, with Connacht duo Cathal Forde and Shane Jennings continuing their midfield partnership.
Nathan Doak, who scored 20 points and was the player-of-the-match against Wales last time out, is retained at half-back, with Kilkenny youngster Tim Corkery outside him.
Lasisi and Illo pack down either side of hooker Ronan Loughnane, while the workhorse second row pairing of Alex Soroka and Harry Sheridan remains unchanged.
Kendellen is joined in the back row by Donnacha Byrne and Oisin McCormack, with the trio making 41 tackles and 185 metres between them against the Welsh.
Murphy has plenty of options on his replacements bench, including Chay Mullins who has come through the IQ Rugby programme and is named in the matchday squad for the first time.
Commenting ahead of the game, Murphy said: “We have been pleased with our start to the Championship, but we know we must continue to make improvements week-on-week, starting on Thursday evening against a very strong England side.
“The squad have worked incredibly hard on optimising our recovery in between matches, and we go into Thursday’s game confident that we are moving in the right direction.”
Ireland v England is live on the RTÉ News Now channel and the RTÉ Player for viewers in the Republic of Ireland, while there will be live coverage on the Six Nations YouTube channel for supporters in the UK.
IRELAND UNDER-20 Team & Replacements (v England Under-20s, 2021 Under-20 Six Nations Championship – Round 3, Cardiff Arms Park, Thursday, July 1, kick-off 8pm):
15. Jamie Osborne (Naas CBS/Naas RFC/Leinster)
14. Ben Moxham (Larne High School/Ballymena RFC/Ulster)
13. Shane Jennings (Garbally College/Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
12. Cathal Forde (Colaiste Iognaid/Galway Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
11. Chris Cosgrave (St. Michael’s College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
10. Tim Corkery (St. Kieran’s College, Kilkenny/UCD RFC/Leinster)
9. Nathan Doak (Wallace High School/Banbridge RFC/Ulster)
1. Temi Lasisi (CBS Enniscorthy/Lansdowne FC/Leinster)
2. Ronan Loughnane (Cistercian College Roscrea/UCD RFC/Leinster)
3. Sam Illo (Wesley College/Old Wesley RFC/Leinster)
4. Alex Soroka (Belvedere College/Clontarf RFC/Leinster)
5. Harry Sheridan (Sullivan Upper School/Dublin University FC/Ulster)
6. Donnacha Byrne (Summerhill College/Sligo RFC/Connacht)
7. Oisin McCormack (Garbally College/Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
8. Alex Kendellen (PBC Cork/UCC RFC/Munster) (capt)
16. Eoin de Buitléar (Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin/An Ghaeltacht/Galway Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
17. Jack Boyle (St. Michael’s College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
18. Mark Donnelly (CBC Cork/Garryowen FC/Munster)
19. Mark Morrissey (Blackrock College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
20. Reuben Crothers (Wallace High School/Ballynahinch RFC/Ulster)
21. Conor McKee (Sullivan Upper School/Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
22. Ben Carson (Wallace High School/Banbridge RFC/Ulster)
23. Jude Postlethwaite (RBAI/Banbridge RFC/Ulster)
24. Jack Kelleher (PBC Cork/UCC RFC/Munster)
25. Daniel Okeke (Ardscoil Ris/Shannon RFC/Munster)
26. Chay Mullins (SGC Filton/Bristol Bears/IQ Rugby)