14th June 2011 12:50
Despite the short turnaround, Ireland Under-20 captain Niall Annett says that the players are ready to ‘give it 100%’ when they meet South Africa in Treviso tonight.
IRELAND U-20s v SOUTH AFRICA U-20s, Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso, 8.10pm local time/7.10pm Irish time (live Sky Sports 3)
Team News: The Ireland Under-20 team (sponsored by PwC) to play South Africa has been named by head coach Mike Ruddock. He has made five personnel changes to the side that lost out to England last Friday.
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James McKinney has been promoted to the starting line-up in the out-half position, with Paddy Jackson named in the replacements.
McKinney’s haul of three penalties against England saw him become Ireland’s record points scorer in Junior World Championship history. He now has 46 points, two more than previous top scorer Ian Porter.
Daniel Qualter has been named alongside Michael Kearney in the second row, and Connacht’s Aaron Conneely will make his tournament debut in the back row.
Iain Henderson, Dominic Gallagher and Luke Marshall have dropped to the replacements bench for Ireland’s second Pool C fixture.
Andrew Conway’s opportunist try against England continued his fine strike rate in this competition. A member of last year’s squad also, Conway has now scored six tries in six Junior World Championship matches.
Meanwhile, South Africa Under-20 supremo Dawie Theron has made nine changes to his team to take on Ireland.
The Baby ‘Boks started their campaign on a winning note when they defeated Scotland 33-0 in their opening pool match in Padova last Friday.
Theron has selected a new front row which will see props Stephan Kotze and John Roy Jenkinson link up with hooker Michael van Vuuren.
The 19-year-old Golden Lions lock Ruan Venter will team up with Eben Etzebeth, while captain Arno Botha will lead a new back row trio which includes Cornell du Preez and Nizaam Carr.
Scrum half Lohan Jacobs will earn his fourth U-20 cap. The Blue Bulls number 9 comes into the starting line-up in place of Pieter Rademan who shifts to the bench, as does centre Paul Jordaan who makes way for Bradley Moolman.
The other change to the side is on the right wing where Courtnall Skosan makes his first U-20 appearance in place of Springbok Sevens talent Tshotsho Mbovane.
IRELAND U-20: Tiernan O’Halloran (Galwegians/Connacht); Andrew Conway (Blackrock/Leinster), Brendan Macken (Blackrock/Leinster), JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster), Craig Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster); James McKinney (Queen’s University/Ulster), Kieran Marmion (UWIC/Exile); James Tracy (UCD/Leinster), Niall Annett (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) (capt), Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster), Michael Kearney (Clontarf/Leinster), Daniel Qualter (Buccaneers/Connacht), Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Aaron Conneely (Galway Corinthians/Connacht), Eoin McKeon (Galwegians/Connacht).
Replacements: David Doyle (UCD/Leinster), Conor Carey (Ballymena/Ulster), Iain Henderson (Queen’s University/Ulster), Dominic Gallagher (Dublin University/Ulster), Peter du Toit (UCD/Leinster), Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster), Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster).
SOUTH AFRICA U-20: Ulrich Beyers (Blue Bulls); Courtnall Skosan (Blue Bulls), Bradley Moolman (Blue Bulls), Francois Venter (Blue Bulls), Wandile Mjekevu (Golden Lions); Johan Goosen (Free State), Lohan Jacobs (Blue Bulls); Stephan Kotze (Free State), Michael van Vuuren (Free State), John Roy Jenkinson (Leopards), Ruan Venter (Golden Lions), Eben Etzebeth (Western Province), Nizaam Carr (Western Province), Cornell du Preez (Leopards), Arno Botha (Blue Bulls) (capt).
Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi (Blue Bulls), Nic Schonert (KwaZulu-Natal), Jean Cook (Free State), Siyamthanda Kolisi (Western Province), Pieter Rademan (Free State), John Welthagen (Leopards), Paul Jordaan (KwaZulu-Natal).
Referee: Jonathon White (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Carlo Damasco, Marius Mitrea (both Italy)
Match Odds (Paddy Power): Ireland U-20s to win: 6/1; Draw: 25/1; South Africa U-20s to win: 1/12
Pre-Match Quotes: Mike Ruddock (Ireland U-20s) – “As a coach you are looking for results, but you want 100% commitment and passion in the jersey and you are looking for people to give everything they got and empty the tank. And my players did that (against England).
“We are a confident team. Even with that bad start we had, being 10-0 down after 10 minutes. Against a Championship team that takes quite a bit to come back from.
“But we showed the character of this team, we showed the positivity of this team and we showed some real good running rugby and even though we conceded tries, I thought our defence overall made it difficult for them.
“If the guys go out and give 100% like that in every game then I’ll be very happy with the way things are going.
“We have looked closely at South Africa and they present another massive challenge. Typically they are a big and very physical side. Combine that with a four-day turnaround and it is important that we introduce some freshness into our team.
“As such I have made five changes to the team that played England. The players coming in are all experienced age grade internationals and they will be keen to perform on the big stage.”
Dawie Theron (South Africa U-20s) – “We’ve made quite a number of changes to our starting line-up for this match, but with the structure and format of the tournament, it’s going to be vital that teams have 22 players fresh and ready for a further four matches which is played every fourth day.
“It’s going to be important to see how this team selected for the Ireland game adapts to the pressures of the IRB Junior World Championship.
“It’s going to be a great chance for the guys who didn’t get a hit-out against Scotland to put their hands up for selection for the remaining matches.
“Ireland are strong with the ball in hand, and were in the game against England right until the end. But our focus this week is picking up from where we left off against Scotland. We want to simply our structure of play and ensure that some of our strengths are properly utilised against Ireland.
“It’s going to be tight – Ireland are always passionate, and they’ll have the crowd behind them as they did on Friday night against England – but for us, it’s going to be about ticking our own boxes, the first of which is four points on Tuesday night.”
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