25th June 2011 21:09
The Ireland Under-20s wrap up their IRB Junior World Championship campaign on Sunday, determined to finish it on a high with a seventh place-clinching win over Wales.
IRELAND U-20s v WALES U-20s, Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso, 12pm local time/11am Irish time
Team News: Ireland Under-20 head coach Mike Ruddock has made a number of changes for the 7th-8th place play-off, including the addition of Banbridge clubman Jonathan Murphy in the replacements. He has been called into the squad to replace the injured Niall Annett.
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In Annett’s absence, back rower Jordi Murphy will captain the side.
Andrew Conway, who is one try away from equalling the competition’s top try-scoring record of 10, moves to full-back as Craig Gilroy returns to the back-three. Tiernan O’Halloran is the player to make way.
Alex Kelly and the 18-year-old JJ Hanrahan will form the centre partnership, with James McKinney slotting in at out-half alongside Kieran Marmion.
In the forwards, Tadhg Furlong, who is also 18, is joined in the front row by Finlay Bealham and David Doyle, who started at openside flanker against South Africa last time out.
Daniel Qualter will start in the second row with the in-form Iain Henderson, while Shane Buckley and Aaron Conneely are restored to the back row.
Speaking ahead of the game, Ruddock said: “We looked fatigued last time out against South Africa and so I have made a number of changes for our fifth game of this tournament. Another short turnaround see us fighting it out for seventh spot with Wales.
“There was nothing between the two teams in the Six Nations earlier this season and both teams will be keen to end the tournament with a win.”
Meanwhile, Wales Under-20 head coach Richard Webster have made seven changes and two positional to the side that lost 34-20 to Fiji in midweek.
Steve Shingler comes in at full-back with Ross Jones moving to left wing. Iolo Evans replaces Dale Ford at outside centre, while Jonathan Evans starts ahead of Lewis Jones at scrum half.
In the forwards, Kirby Myhill returns at hooker and Will Taylor at tighthead prop ahead of Will Griff John.
Lloyd Peers partners captain Macauley Cook in the second row, with Thomas Young starting on the openside of the scrum, Luke Hamilton moving back to the blindside.
The Welsh are determined to finish the tournament on a positive note. They have won two and lost two of their games in Italy, and are keen to put their disappointing defeats to New Zealand and Fiji behind them.
IRELAND U-20: Andrew Conway (Blankrock/Leinster); Craig Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster), Alex Kelly (UCD/Leinster), JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster), Andrew Boyle (UCD/Leinster); James McKinney (Queen’s University/Ulster), Kieran Marmion (UWIC/Exile); Finlay Bealham (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), David Doyle (UCD/Leinster), Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster), Daniel Qualter (Buccaneers/Connacht), Iain Henderson (Queen’s University/Ulster), Shane Buckley (Garryowen/Munster), Aaron Conneely (Galway Corinthians/Connacht), Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) (capt).
Replacements: Jonathan Murphy (Banbridge/Ulster), James Tracy (UCD/Leinster), Michael Kearney (Clontarf/Leinster), Eoin McKeon (Galwegians/Connacht), Peter du Toit (UCD/Leinster), Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster), Brendan Macken (Blackrock/Leinster).
WALES U-20: Steve Shingler (London Irish); Liam Williams (Llanelli), Iolo Evans (Scarlets/Llanelli), Lewis Robling (Dragons/Newport), Ross Jones (Ospreys/Bridgend); Matthew Morgan (Ospreys/Swansea), Jonathan Evans (Dragons/Newport); Rhodri Jones (Scarlets/Llanelli), Kirby Myhill (Scarlets/Llanelli), Will Taylor (Ospreys/Swansea), Macauley Cook (Blues/Cardiff) (capt), Lloyd Peers (Ospreys/Bridgend), Luke Hamilton (Blues/Glamorgan Wanderers), Thomas Young (Blues/Cardiff), Ben Thomas (Ospreys/Bridgend).
Replacements: Jamie Sollis (Dragons/Cross Keys), Will Griff John (Blues/Pontypridd), Cory Hill (Blues/Pontypridd),Owen Sheppeard (Blues/Pontypridd), Lewis Jones (Blues/Pontypridd), Rheon James (Scarlets/Carmarthen Quins), Dale Ford (Scarlets/Llanelli).
Referee: Jonathon White (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Carlo Damasco, Alan Falzone (both Italy)
Pre-Match Quotes: Mike Ruddock (Ireland U-20s) – “This is a tough tournament. You saw in Padova that we were limping out there with some injuries.
“But you’ve just got to dig in. That’s all we can do now. We’re hurting. But what we’ve got to do is focus on the fact that we were very competitive in our first three games, so we need to keep our confidence levels up.
“I watched the second half of the (Wales v Fiji) game and they fell off a couple of tackles, just like we did against South Africa.
“So, it looks like it will be a game between two tired teams. It’ll probably be the fresher side that comes out on top with the win.”
Richard Webster (Wales U-20s) – “We’ve had two highs and two lows so far and we want to finish the tournament with another high with a good performance and result this Sunday.
“The players know they let themselves down against Fiji on Wednesday and they are out to put that right against Ireland.
“Ireland have been pretty competitive in all of their games in this tournament. They were in a tough pool with South Africa, England and Scotland and played South Africa again on Wednesday in the fifth place semi-final.
“It is up to us to step up to the mark now. We know we can play rugby with the ball in hand but we also have to put our energy into defending well, something we have been working on a lot this week since the disappointing result and performance against Fiji.”
Pre-Match Links –
Recent Meetings –
2010: RBS U-20 6 Nations: Ireland U-20s 24 Wales U-20s 17, Dubarry Park
2011: RBS U-20 6 Nations: Wales U-20s 26 Ireland U-20s 26, Parc y Scarlets