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Ireland U-18 Schools Team Confirmed For Festival Finale

Ireland U-18 Schools Team Confirmed For Festival Finale

The Ireland Under-18 Schools players stand together for the anthems prior to their midweek match against Wales ©INPHO/Tom Maher

Ireland Under-18 Schools head coach Paul Barr has made eight personnel changes for their final match of the U-18 Men’s Six Nations Festival against Italy in Marcoussis.

The Easter Sunday showdown kicks off at 11.30am local time/10.30am Irish time and will see Ireland, captained by St. Michael’s College centre Sam Berman, look to finish their campaign with back-to-back wins.

There are straight swaps at half-back and in the front row, with Jack Murphy, who has scored 22 points in France, and Jake O’Riordan reunited as the drivers of the back-line.

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Leinster duo Tom Stewart and Andrew Sparrow will pack down either side of Campbell College hooker Zac Solomon. Stephen Kiely is restored to the right wing, so PBC Cork’s Ben O’Connor reverts to the full-back position.

O’Connor has been ever-present for Ireland across the tournament along with four other players – skipper Berman, second rows Evan O’Connell and Joe Hopes, and Kilkenny College flanker Stephen Smyth.

Blackrock College’s Tom Brigg, a late injury call-up, will make his first start at this level at openside flanker, alongside Smyth and Brian Gleeson, the Rockwell College number 8.

Italy are searching for their maiden victory in Marcoussis after losing to Scotland (31-17) and England (28-21). Today’s game will be streamed live on the Six Nations YouTube channel. See below to watch it in full:

Barr: The Festival Is Of Huge Benefit To The Players

Mitchell: They’re Benchmarking Themselves Against The Best Of Their Age Group


Day 1 –

Italy 17 Scotland 31
Wales 14 England 33
France 28 Ireland 23

Day 2 –

France 32 Scotland 10
Ireland 46 Wales 26
Italy 21 England 28

Day 3 –

Italy v Ireland, kick-off 11.30am local time/10.30am Irish time
England v Scotland
France v Wales

IRELAND UNDER-18 SCHOOLS Team & Replacements (v Italy Under-18s, Under-18 Men’s Six Nations Festival – Round 3, Marcoussis, France, Sunday, April 17, kick-off 11.30am local time/10.30am Irish time):

15. Ben O’Connor (Presentation Brothers College Cork/Munster)
14. Stephen Kiely (Castletroy College/Munster)
13. Sam Berman (St. Michael’s College/Leinster) (capt)
12. Luke Kritzinger (Blackrock College/Leinster)
11. Hugo McLaughlin (Gonzaga College/Leinster)
10. Jack Murphy (Presentation College Bray/Leinster)
9. Jake O’Riordan (St. Munchin’s College/Munster)
1. Tom Stewart (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
2. Zac Solomon (Campbell College/Ulster)
3. Andrew Sparrow (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
4. Evan O’Connell (Castletroy College/Munster)
5. Joe Hopes (Campbell College/Ulster)
6. Stephen Smyth (Kilkenny College/Leinster)
7. Tom Brigg (Blackrock College/Leinster)
8. Brian Gleeson (Rockwell College/Munster)


16. Danny Sheahan (Presentation Brothers College Cork/Munster)
17. Emmet Calvey (Ardscoil Ris/Munster)
18. Jacob Boyd (Royal Belfast Academical Institute/Ulster)
19. Jacob Sheahan (Presentation Brothers College Cork/Munster)
20. Inigo Cruise O’Brien (Blackrock College/Leinster)
21. Oliver Coffey (Blackrock College/Leinster)
22. Sean Naughton (Kilkenny College/Leinster)
23. Ruben Moloney (Blackrock College/Leinster)
24. Josh Stevens (Methodist College/Ulster)
25. Finn Treacy (Presentation College Bray/Leinster)
26. Harry Long (Ardscoil Ris/Munster)


France Under-18s 28 Ireland Under-18 Schools 23, Saturday, April 9
Ireland Under-18 Schools 46 Wales Under-18s 26, Wednesday, April 13
Ireland Under-18 Schools v Italy Under-18s, Sunday, April 17, kick-off 10.30am Irish time