Carolan adds two fresh faces to U-20 squad
Despite a disappointing Six Nations campaign, Ireland head coach Nigel Carolan has added just two players to his 28-man squad for this summer's World Rugby U-20 Championship.
Munster hooker Sean McNulty returns from injury to provide competition to Zack McCall while promising scrum-half Charlie Rock comes in as the only uncapped (at this level) player in the squad.
The former Blackrock College player captained his school to 2013 Leinster Senior Cup title and is highly rated within the province.
Ireland got their Six Nations campaign off to a flying start with two wins from two but then slumped to three consecutive defeats to England, Wales and Scotland.
Carolan's youngsters will compete in Pool C of the World Championship alongside New Zealand, Argentina and a Scotland side who defeated Ireland 17-10 this year. There is plenty of experience within the squad as eight players featured in last year's tournament in New Zealand, when Ireland finished in fourth place.
Talented backs Ross Byrne, Garry Ringrose, Billy Dardis, Ciaran Gaffney and scrum-half Nick McCarthy will be hoping that last year's experience stands to them while up front, Rory Moloney, Josh Murphy and Oisin Heffernan will be eager for the same.
Ireland begin their tournament against Argentina on June 2 in Parma before playing Scotland (June 6). They round off the pool stages with a mouthwatering clash against New Zealand on June 10.
Ireland U-20 Squad - S Arnold (Ulster), R Byrne (Leinster), J Carbery (Leinster), F Cleary (Leinster), B Dardis (Leinster), L Dow (Ulster), J Dwan (Leinster), S Fitzgerald (Munster), C Gaffney (Connacht), O Heffernan (Leinster), J Loughman (Leinster), Z McCall (Ulster), N McCarthy (Leinster), S McNulty (Munster), S McVeigh (Connacht), R Moloney (Connacht), J Murphy (Leinster), C O'Donnell (Connacht), D O'Connor (Leinster), C Oliver (Leinster), J Owens (Ulster), A Porter (Leinster), G Ringrose (Leinster), C Rock (Leinster)*, C Romaine (Connacht), J Stockdale (Ulster), A Thompson (Ulster), N Timoney (Leinster)
* Denotes uncapped player at international Under-20 level.