Monday 26 September 2016

Academy trio in Carolan's U-20 squad

Daragh Small

Published 27/05/2016 | 02:30

Ireland U20's head coach Nigel Carolan. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / Sportsfile
Ireland U20's head coach Nigel Carolan. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / Sportsfile

The Connacht academy trio of Conor Kenny, Cillian Gallagher and Stephen Kerins have all been picked in the Ireland squad for the World Rugby U-20 Championships in Manchester this summer.

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Connacht academy manager Nigel Carolan coaches the Ireland U-20s and picked his 28-man squad this week as they look ahead to a difficult Pool A, where they face Wales, New Zealand and Georgia.

There are five uncapped players in the squad, with Bill Johnston (Garryowen), Vakh Abdaladze (Clontarf), Vincent O'Brien (Cork Con), Evan Mintern (Cork Con) and David Aspil (St Mary's College) receiving their first call-up at this level.

Andrew Porter, Adam McBurney and Jacob Stockdale all took part in Ireland's U-20 campaign at the Junior World Championships last year in Italy. But Connacht youngsters, U-20 Player of the Year Conan O'Donnell and Peter Claffey will not feature this time around due to injury.

Once again Leinster have the most number of players travelling with the squad; Lansdowne lock James Ryan captains the side, and is one of 13 Leinster men in the panel.

There are eight Munster players and three from Ulster. Niall Saunders from Epsom College is the only Exile in the squad. Shane Fenton, Sam Arnold and Jack Power are also injured and will miss the trip.

The Ireland U-20s begin their tournament with a clash against Wales in the Manchester City Academy Stadium on Tuesday June 7, which is followed by games against New Zealand and Georgia.

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