Friday 28 October 2016

Busy summer for our Ireland players

Declan Rooney

Published 20/05/2016 | 02:30

Nigel Carolan. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Nigel Carolan. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

After a record-breaking season to remember, Connacht players will be waiting for good news as the Ireland U-20 and senior squads will soon be announced for the summer competitions.

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Connacht academy director Nigel Carolan will name his squad today to compete in the World Rugby U-20 championship in the coming months, with the tournament taking place in Manchester this time round.

Five of the Connacht academy played their part in the Six Nations for Carolan and those quintet and a few other promising stars will be hoping to get the nod to travel to the competition.

Three Sligo natives took part in the U-20 Six Nations - Stephen Kerins, Conan O'Donnell and Cillian Gallagher - while Offaly's Conor Kenny and Galwegians lock Peter Claffey were also key members of the team.

Back-row Gallagher played every minute of the Six Nations and also bagged a try against Wales, while Claffey and O'Donnell - who is currently recovering from injury - also played in all five games.

Meanwhile, on the senior front Connacht will be hoping to add to their five representatives from the spring matches with another couple of players for the South African tour.

Ireland have never won a Test match in South Africa and, after Kieran Marmion, Robbie Henshaw, Nathan White, Finlay Bealham and Ultan Dillane's caps in the Six Nations, it is hoped that players like Matt Healy might be included in the travelling party after recently being named in Joe Schmidt's training squad.

Irish Independent

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