Jump to main content


PWC logo

Seven Changes Made To Ireland U-20 Men’s Team For Georgia Game

Seven Changes Made To Ireland U-20 Men’s Team For Georgia Game

The Ireland Under-20 Men's team opened their World Rugby U-20 Championship campaign with a bonus point victory over Italy in Cape Town last weekend ©INPHO/SteveHaagSports/Darren Stewart

Max Flynn and Ruben Moloney will make their debuts for the Ireland Under-20 Men (sponsored by PwC), as part of the team to play Georgia in Thursday’s World Rugby U-20 Championship Pool B match in Stellenbosch (kick-off 1pm Irish time – live on RugbyPass TV).

Hooker Mikey Yarr, who captained the Ireland U-19s this year, is also set to win his first U-20 cap off the bench. Willie Faloon’s side are sitting top of Pool B following an impressive 55-15 first round win over Italy last Saturday.

UCD winger Moloney slots into the back-three alongside Ben O’Connor and Davy Colbert, a debutant last weekend. Sam Berman, the three-try player-of-the-match against Italy, is partnered at centre this time by Connacht’s Hugh Gavin.

Gavin’s provincial colleague, Sean Naughton, steps up for his first start after a 14-point contribution during the second half of the tournament opener. He joins Oliver Coffey in a new-look half-back partnership.

Leinster front rowers Stephen Smyth and Andrew Sparrow come in for their second starts at this level. There is a first start for versatile Ulster forward James McKillop at lock, and captain Evan O’Connell and Jacob Boyd complete the tight five.

Galway Corinthians clubman Flynn, who was a late withdrawal before the first game, is fit to start at openside flanker. Luke Murphy, one of the try scorers the last day, and Sean Edogbo are retained in the starting back row.

Along with Yarr, Brian Gleeson, one of the Ireland U-20s’ best performers in 2023, is another notable inclusion among the replacements. The Munster talent is set to make his first U-20 appearance since the first round of this year’s U-20 Six Nations.

Emmet Calvey, Patreece Bell, and Alan Spicer are the other replacement forwards, while Naas scrum half Tadhg Brophy is poised for his tournament bow, with former Pres Bray pair Jack Murphy and Finn Treacy completing the matchday 23.

IRELAND UNDER-20 MEN’S Team & Replacements (v Georgia Under-20s, 2024 World Rugby Under-20 Championship – Pool B, Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch, Thursday, July 4, kick-off 2pm local time/1pm Irish time):

Player/Club/Province –

15. Ben O’Connor (UCC RFC/Munster)
14. Davy Colbert (Dublin University FC/Leinster)
13. Sam Berman (Terenure College RFC/Leinster)
12. Hugh Gavin (Galwegians RFC/Connacht)
11. Ruben Moloney (UCD RFC/Leinster) *
10. Sean Naughton (Galway Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
9. Oliver Coffey (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
1. Jacob Boyd (Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
2. Stephen Smyth (Old Wesley RFC/Leinster)
3. Andrew Sparrow UCD RFC/Leinster)
4. James McKillop (Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
5. Evan O’Connell (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster) (capt)
6. Sean Edogbo (UCC RFC/Munster)
7. Max Flynn (Galway Corinthians RFC/Connacht) *
8. Luke Murphy (Shannon RFC/Munster)


16. Mikey Yarr (Lansdowne FC/Leinster) *
17. Emmet Calvey (Shannon RFC/Munster)
18. Patreece Bell (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)
19. Alan Spicer (UCD RFC/Leinster)
20. Brian Gleeson (Garryowen FC/Munster)
21. Tadhg Brophy (Naas RFC/Leinster)
22. Jack Murphy (Clontarf FC/Leinster)
23. Finn Treacy (Galwegians RFC/Connacht)

* Denotes uncapped player at Under-20 level


POOL A: France (1), Wales (6), New Zealand (7), Spain (12)

POOL B: Ireland (2), Australia (5), Georgia (8), Italy (11)

POOL C: South Africa (3), England (4), Argentina (9), Fiji (10)

* Rankings based on last year’s placings (Spain won the 2023 U-20 Trophy)

Match Day 1: Saturday, June 29 – Pool B: Ireland 55 Italy 15, DHL Stadium, Cape Town

Match Day 2: Thursday, July 4 – Pool B: Ireland v Georgia, Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch, 2pm local time/1pm Irish time

Match Day 3: Tuesday, July 9 – Pool B: Ireland v Australia, Athlone Sports Stadium, Cape Town, 2pm local time/1pm Irish time

Match Day 4: Sunday, July 14 (Semi-finals and play-off matches)

Match Day 5: Friday, July 19 (Final and ranking matches)

For more information on the World Rugby U-20 Championship, click here.