Curtis and Hogan withdraw from Ireland U20's ahead of Pool finale with New Zealand
Ireland U20's fly-half Angus Curtis and winger Colm Hogan have both withdrawn from the Ireland squad to take on New Zealand this Thursday in what will be the final Pool game of Ireland's 2017 World Rugby Under 20 Championship's.
Sunday's four-point defeat to Scotland ruled out any chance Peter Malone's side had of progressing to the semi-finals after Ireland had lost their opening pool game to Italy in Kutaisi.
Ireland will now be without replacement out-half Curtis, who has been ruled out after suffering a concussion in yesterday's loss to Scotland, while Hogan has withdrawn after he was unable to overcome an ankle injury he suffered in the opening loss to Italy.
Curtis will be replaced in the squad by Munster's Conor Fitzgerald, while fellow Munster man Liam Coombes will come in for Hogan, as Ireland attempt to salvage some respectability against the Baby Blacks in what has otherwise been a rather dismal tournament for Malone and company.
Malone, who is the Munster Elite Player Development Manager, said that the players were devastated at the loss to Scotland and that he'll be looking to make a few changes for the game with New Zealand as Ireland begin to prepare for the 5-8th/9-12th place play-offs.
"We're very disappointed," the Ireland U20's Head coach told Irish Rugby TV.
"There's a lot of disappointed players and coaches in the dressing room there, so listen, they gave it everything and left it all out on the field.
"At the end of the day it was four tries to three, four points in it, and we just didn't get over the line and the boys are devastated and we're very, very disappointed.
"I think for us now we've just got to go over and relax and not beat ourselves up because we've got three more games this tournament no matter what happens.
"We'll probably be a fresher team, bring some of the new boys in and give them a chance, but also give the guys a chance to recover as well because the guys have put in two big shifts against Italy and Scotland."