Friday 28 July 2017

Irish square up to 'hurting' Scots

Ciaran Gaffney will replace Jacob Stockdale on Ireland U-20s' right wing for their clash with Scotland. Photo: Magi Haroun / SPORTSFILE
Ciaran Gaffney will replace Jacob Stockdale on Ireland U-20s' right wing for their clash with Scotland. Photo: Magi Haroun / SPORTSFILE

John Fallon

Seventeen points is the smallest winning margin Ireland have had over Scotland in the U-20 World Championship but it will be a lot closer when they clash in Calvisano this afternoon (3.30pm).

Scotland, hammered 68-10 by New Zealand on Tuesday night, go into the clash boosted by a 17-10 win over the Irish at Netherdale in the Six Nations.

"We are all a little bit hurting, players and management," said assistant coach Colin McEntee. "Our players have matured a fair bit and this will be a test but we prepared well in the limited time that we have had."

Ireland have made four changes, three of which are up front. Prop Andrew Porter takes over from the injured Jeremy Loughman, with Sean McNulty starting at hooker and Zack McCall on the bench. In the back row, Conor Oliver comes into the side for Rory Moloney.

Liam O'Connor could make his debut off the bench after being flown out to replace the injured Loughman.

The only change to the backline is on the right wing where Ciaran Gaffney, a late withdrawal before the Argentina game with an ankle injury, takes over from Jacob Stockdale.

It's the first meeting between them at this level since Ireland won 30-13 in Italy in 2011. A year earlier they won 53-23 in Argentina, while in the inaugural championship in 2008 in Wales, Ireland won 39-12.

Ireland U20 v Scotland U20, live, TG4/BT Sport 2, 3.30pm

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