Monday 29 May 2017

Nigel Carolan makes 13 changes to Irish under-20s side for Georgia encounter

Ireland’s players celebrate after beating New Zealand in the World Rugby U20 at the Academy Stadium in Manchester on Saturday. Photo: Tony Marshall/Getty Images
Ireland’s players celebrate after beating New Zealand in the World Rugby U20 at the Academy Stadium in Manchester on Saturday. Photo: Tony Marshall/Getty Images

The Ireland U20 side has been confirmed to play Georgia in the final Pool A game of the World Rugby U20 Championships tomorrow evening at the Manchester City Academy Stadium.

Head Coach Nigel Carolan has made 13 changes to the side that defeated New Zealand 33-24 on Saturday.

In the forwards, James Bollard, Vincent O'Brien and Vakh Abdaladze start in the front row. New cap Evan Mintern of Cork Con is joined in the second-row by Sean O'Connor. In the back-row, Greg Jones is the only forward who started in the game against New Zealand and he will pack down with new cap Conall Boomer of Belfast Harlequins and Number 8 Kelvin Brown.

There is also a new-look backline, with Niall Saunders starting at scrum-half. He will be partnered by Johnny McPhillips at out-half. Paul Kiernan and Jimmy O'Brien make up the centre partnership, while winger Hugo Keenan remains from the New Zealand game and is joined in the back-three by Terry Kennedy and Brett Connon.

The side will be captained by UCC's Paul Kiernan.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's match, Carolan said: "We're in a good position with two wins from two so far in this competition but we now have a big test against what is a very physical Georgian side. They pushed Wales all the way at the weekend so they will be looking to build on that performance and will be confident coming into this match.

"The nature of the tournament means that games come thick and fast so it's important that we use our whole squad. There are a number of players who will be starting their first U20 World Championship match so we're looking forward to seeing them in action."

An Irish victory would see them qualify for the last four of the competition.

Ireland team to face Georgia:

15. Brett Connon (Newcastle Falcons)

14. Terry Kennedy (St.Mary's / Leinster)

13. Jimmy O'Brien (UCD / Leinster)

12. Paul Kiernan (UCC / Munster) Captain

11. Hugo Keenan (UCD / Leinster)

10. Johnny McPhillips (Queen's University / Ulster)

9. Niall Saunders (Harlequins)

1. James Bollard (Dublin University / Leinster)

2. Vincent O'Brien (Cork Con / Munster)

3. Vakh Abdaladze (Clontarf / Leinster)

4. Evan Mintern (Cork Con / Munster)

5. Sean O'Connor (Cashel / Munster)

6. Greg Jones (UCD / Leinster)

7. Conall Boomer (Belfast Harlequins / Ulster)

8. Kelvin Brown (Shannon / Munster)

 

Replacements

16. Adam McBurney (Ballymena / Ulster)

17. Andrew Porter (UCD / Leinster)

18. Adam Coyle (Naas / Leinster)

19. James Ryan (Lansdowne / Leinster)

20. Max Deegan (Lansdowne / Leinster)

21. Stephen Kerins (Sligo / Connacht)

22. Shane Daly (Cork Con / Munster)

23. Jacob Stockdale (Belfast Harlequins / Ulster)

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