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Six Nations Preview: England Under-20s v Ireland Under-20s

Six Nations Preview: England Under-20s v Ireland Under-20s

Centre Dan Goggin and number 8 Frankie Taggart will make their first starts at this level as the Ireland Under-20s chase their first win on English soil since 2010.

2014 RBS UNDER-20 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP: Saturday, February 22

ENGLAND UNDER-20s (3rd) v IRELAND UNDER-20s (4th), Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton, 6.15pm (live Sky Sports 2 HD)

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Team News: Ireland Under-20 head coach Mike Ruddock has made three changes to the team, sponsored by PwC, for Saturday’s Six Nations duel with England at Franklin’s Gardens.

Centre Dan Goggin is promoted from the bench and replaces Garry Ringrose, while Adam Byrne comes in for Ian Fitzpatrick on the left wing.

Injury has forced the withdrawal of Jack O’Donoghue who is replaced at number 8 by Frankie Taggart, with Michael Triggs coming onto the bench to provide back row cover.

The only other change to the matchday 23 sees Harrison Brewer added to the bench as one of the reserve backs.

Sean O’Brien has recovered from the injury he sustained early on in the game against the Welsh to resume his second row partnership with Ross Molony.

The Ireland U-20s face an English outfit that has also recorded a win and a loss in the opening two rounds of the Championship. The round 3 game kicks off at 6.15pm in Northampton and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 2.

Meanwhile, England Under-20 boss Nick Walshe have made six changes to the side that beat Scotland for their game against Ireland this weekend.

Winger Howard Packman comes in for his first start at his home ground, and there are also first starts of the season for 2013 Junior World Championship winners Harry Sloan and Scott Wilson.

Alex Lundberg, Harry Thacker and Joel Conlon are also included, with Walshe’s youngsters aiming for their second successive win of this season’s U-20 Six Nations.

RBS U-20 6 Nations Results/Fixtures

RBS U-20 6 Nations Table

ENGLAND U-20: Nathan Earle (Saracens); Zach Kibirige (Newcastle Falcons), Nick Tompkins (Saracens), Harry Sloan (Harlequins), Howard Packman (Northampton Saints); Billy Burns (Gloucester), Callum Braley (Bristol) (capt); Alex Lundberg (London Wasps), Harry Thacker (Leicester Tigers), Scott Wilson (Newcastle Falcons), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Charlie Ewels (Bath), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester), Joel Conlon (Exeter Chiefs), James Chisholm (Harlequins).

Replacements: Jack Walker (Leeds Carnegie), Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton Saints), Paul Hill (Leeds Carnegie), Tom Ellis (Bath), Gus Jones (London Wasps), Henry Taylor (Loughborough University), Sam Olver (Northampton Saints), Henry Purdy (Leicester Tigers).

IRELAND U-20: David Busby (Queen’s University/Ulster); Cian Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster), Dan Goggin (Young Munster/Munster), Peter Robb (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Adam Byrne (UCD/Leinster); Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster), Nick McCarthy (UCD/Leinster); Peter Dooley (Lansdowne/Leinster), Max Abbott (Cork Constitution/Munster), Rory Burke (Cork Constitution/Munster), Sean O’Brien (Galwegians/Connacht), Ross Molony (UCD/Leinster), Peadar Timmins (UCD/Leinster), Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster) (capt), Frankie Taggart (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster).

Replacements: Sean McNulty (UCD/Munster), Denis Coulson (Lansdowne/Leinster), Oisin Heffernan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Joe Joyce (Bristol/Exiles), Michael Triggs (Lansdowne/Leinster), Jack Cullen (Bruff/Munster), Conor McKeon (Lansdowne/Leinster), Harrison Brewer (Terenure College/Leinster).

Referee: Lloyd Linton (Scotland)

Match Odds (Paddy Power): England U-20s to win: 1/7; Draw: 25/1; Ireland U-20s to win: 4/1

Pre-Match Quotes – Mike Ruddock (Ireland U-20s): “There were some harsh lessons learned last time out against the Welsh and the team will have to dig deep and find a quality performance this weekend to get a result against a strong English team.

“There is plenty of character and experience within this squad and that should stand to them come Saturday.”

Nick Walshe (England U-20s): “It’s great to have this depth within our squad and we’re pleased to welcome back players with the experience that both Harry and Scott possess.

“Obviously it’s fantastic for Scott that he’s had recognition from the Saxons already this season, but his job, and our job, is to go out and perform well against Ireland on Saturday.

“The guys have trained well this week and heading back to Franklin’s Gardens is always special. It’s a proper rugby venue, we had a good win against Italy there last season and we’ll be looking to go out there and play as well as we can in front of a good home crowd.”

Pre-Match Links –

Ireland Under-20s Suffer Setback In Athlone

Photo Gallery: Ireland 0 Wales 16

Match Facts –

– The England Under-20s’ only defeat in their last five matches was in France in round 1, however they have won their last eight home matches since their loss to Ireland in Gloucester in 2010

– The Ireland Under-20s have won just one of their last five matches, but their16-0 defeat at home to Wales in round 2 ended a three-match unbeaten run in the Six Nations

– The England Under-20s have played two previous matches at Franklin’s Gardens, losing to France there in 2007 and beating Italy in round 4 last season

– The Ireland Under-20s have won their last two contests with England and overall have won five of the eleven previous meetings at this level

– Ireland out-half Ross Byrne is the joint-third top points scorer in the 2014 tournament so far with 14 points (four conversions and two penalties), level with England’s Billy Burns

– Ireland umber 8 Jack O’Donoghue – the man-of-the-match against Scotland – is the joint-top try scorer thanks to his brace in the opening round

Recent Meetings –

2011: RBS U-20 6 Nations: Ireland U-20s 15 England U-20s 46, Dubarry Park; IRB Junior World Championship – Pool C: England U-20s 33 Ireland U-20s 25, Stadio di Monigo

2012: RBS U-20 6 Nations: England U-20s 20 Ireland U-20s 9, Adams Park; IRB Junior World Championship – Pool B: England U-20s 20 Ireland U-20s 15, Danie Craven Stadium; IRB Junior World Championship – 5th-8th Place Play-Off: Ireland U-20s 27 England U-20s 12, UWC Stadium

2013: RBS U-20 6 Nations: Ireland U-20s 16 England U-20s 15, Dubarry Park