3rd February 2012 14:05
Mike Ruddock’s Ireland Under-20s, sponsored by PwC, are aiming for a strong start to their Six Nations campaign when they host Wales in their Championship opener at Dubarry Park.
IRELAND U-20s v WALES U-20s, Dubarry Park, Buccaneers RFC, 7.05pm (live RTÉ Two/RTÉ website)
Team News: The Ireland Under-20 team has been announced by head coach Mike Ruddock for the opening game in the RBS Under-20 6 Nations Championship against Wales in Athlone.
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Head coach Mike Ruddock has named an experienced side with seven players from last year’s Ireland Under-20 squad included in the starting line-up.
Buccaneers’ own Daniel Qualter will link up with Iain Henderson in the second row, while fellow Connacht native Aaron Conneely is named in the back row.
Centre JJ Hanarahan makes a return to the side from last year along with Sam Coghlan Murray who has been named on the left wing.
Kieran Marmion will take up the scrum half position and will partner Paddy Jackson who has been named at out-half. The Ulster-capped Jackson will also captain this year’s side.
Tonight’s clash will be broadcast live on RTÉ Two, with commentary provided by Ryle Nugent and Donal Lenihan. It will also be shown on RTE.ie (Island of Ireland only).
Meanwhile, five players from last year’s Wales Under-20 Six Nations squad return to pursue victory in this year’s campaign.
Cardiff’s WillGriff John, captain Kirby Myhill from Llanelli, Carmarthen’s Rob Evans and Cardiff’s Matthew Screech and Reuben Tucker have been named in the 2012 panel along with 22 new faces.
Myhill returns to the squad with regional experience after appearing 11 times for the Scarlets since August 2011.
The squad are missing Liam Williams who made the step up to the senior team in Warren Gatland’s autumn squad and retains his place in the RBS 6 Nations training squad.
IRELAND U-20: Shane Layden (Buccaneers/Connacht); Barry Daly (UCD/Leinster), Foster Horan (Lansdowne/Leinster), JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster), Sam Coghlan Murray (UCD/Leinster); Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster) (capt), Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht); Kyle McCall (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Niall Scannell (Dolphin/Munster), Peter Reilly (Lansdowne/Leinster), Iain Henderson (Queen’s University/Ulster), Daniel Qualter (Buccaneers/Connacht), Conor Gilsenan (UCD/Leinster), Aaron Conneely (Corinthians/Connacht), Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster).
Replacements: Des Merrey (Clontarf/Leinster), James Rael (Garryowen/Munster), Jake Cawley (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Tadgh Beirne (Lansdowne/Leinster), Jordan Coghlan (UCD/Leinster), Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster), Cathal Marsh (Dublin University/Leinster), Christopher Farrell (Dungannon/Ulster).
WALES U-20: Ross Jones (Bridgend/Ospreys); Iolo Evans (Llanelli/Scarlets), Nathan Edwards (Bridgend), Cory Allen (Cardiff/Cardiff Blues), Luke Morgan (Bridgend/Ospreys); Sam Davies (Swansea/Ospreys), Jonathan Evans (Bedwas/Newport Gwent Dragons); Rob Evans (Llanelli/Scarlets), Kirby Myhill (Llanelli/Scarlets), WillGriff John (Cardiff/Cardiff Blues), Matthew Screech (Cardiff/Cardiff Blues), Rhodri Hughes (Swansea/Ospreys), Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff/Cardiff Blues), Daniel Thomas (Llanelli/Scarlets), Reuben Tucker (Cardiff/Cardiff Blues).
Replacements: Jamie Sollis (Cross Keys/Newport Gwent Dragons), Thomas Davies (Cardiff/Cardiff Blues), Dan Suter (Bridgend/Ospreys), Dan Crimmins (Cardiff), Ieuan Jones (Pontypool/Newport Gwent Dragons), Joshua Davies (Newport/Newport Gwent Dragons), Lewis Williams (Pontypridd/Cardiff Blues), Luke Williams (Cross Keys/Newport Gwent Dragons).
Referee: James Matthew (Scotland)
Assistant Referees: Rob Dickson, Bob Nevins (both Scotland)
Television Match Official: Jim Yuille (Scotland)
Match Odds (Paddy Power): Ireland U-20s to win: 4/11; Draw: 18/1; Wales U-20s to win: 2/1
Pre-Match Quotes – Mike Ruddock (Ireland U-20s): “We are all looking forward to the start of the Six Nations. It is always a tough test against Wales but preparations have been first class.
“We are confident we have prepared as best as we can and are now looking forward to transferring that training onto the pitch itself.”
Danny Wilson (Wales U-20s): “We are prepared and looking forward to facing Ireland on Friday. The first game of the tournament is always an exciting fixture.
“Training has been really good this week. Players have been able to train with us more and we’ve seen a real benefit from that. We’ve been able to have some live scrum and lineout practice against Cardiff RFC which has helped tremendously.”
Pre-Match Links –
Recent Meetings –
2010: RBS U-20 6 Nations: Ireland U-20s 24 Wales U-20s 17, Dubarry Park