Ruddock bids to end U-20 tenure with Kiwis scalp
Mike Ruddock, who could yet emerge as a contender for the Irish forwards' coaching post ahead of next year's World Cup, will end his tenure at this summer's U-20 equivalent hoping to bow out with a win against New Zealand tomorrow morning.
Ruddock has made a number of changes to the side that lost out to England in the semi-finals for their final game of the tournament, a tussle with the hosts New Zealand, for a hugely creditable third-placed finish.
Jack O'Donoghue has been ruled out of the game as he continues to observe to the 'return to play' concussion protocols. Peadar Timmins will captain the side.
The back-row sees Timmins joined by Rory Moloney, who is named at openside flanker, with Frank Taggart moving to the base.
Dylan Donnellan and Oisin Heffernan both make their first start of the tournament partnering Peter Dooley in the front-row, with Darragh Moloney named in the second-row alongside Ross Moloney.
Harrison Brewer is in the centre along with Garry Ringrose, named in the shortlist of four nominees for the IRB Junior Player of the Year award. The winner will be announced after the final at Eden Park tomorrow.
"Trying to defeat a New Zealand team in Eden Park is a formidable challenge, but we will give it our best shot," said Ruddock.
TG4 will broadcast the game live tomorrow morning ahead of the IRB JWC final between England and South Africa. They will also show highlights of the game at 8.30 tomorrow evening.
Ireland U-20 (v New Zealand): C Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster); C Gaffney (Galwegians/Connacht), G Ringrose (UCD/Leinster), H Brewer (Terenure/Leinster), A Wootton (Garryowen/Munster); R Byrne (UCD/Leinster), N McCarthy (UCD/Leinster); P Dooley (Lansdowne/Leinster), D Donnellan (UCD/Leinster), O Heffernan (Lansdowne/Leinster), D Moloney (Cork Constitution/Munster), R Molony (UCD/Leinster), P Timmins (UCD/Leinster) capt, F Taggart (Belfast Harlequins\Ulster), R Moloney (Buccaneers/Connacht). Reps: M Abbott (Cork Constitution/Munster), D Coulson (Lansdowne/Leinster), R Burke (Cork Constitution/Munster), S Gardiner (Lansdowne/Leinster), J Murphy (UCD/Leinster), R Foley (Lansdowne/Leinster), C McKeon (Lansdowne/Leinster), D Goggin (Young Munster).
IRELAND U-20 V NEW ZEALAND U-20, LIVE, TOMORROW, TG4, 6.05am