Monday 26 June 2017

Dowling demands improvements

Oisin Dowling maintains his starting place in the Ireland U20 team for tomorrow night’s visit of France to Donnybrook. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Oisin Dowling maintains his starting place in the Ireland U20 team for tomorrow night’s visit of France to Donnybrook. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Ask Oisin Dowling which second-rows he looks up to and surprisingly it's not the likes of Paul O'Connell or Eben Etzebeth but rather closer to home, or specifically, recent products of his school.

St Michael's have produced their fair share of talents in recent years and so much so that Dowling has been inspired by two of them in particular.

"When I played in school I used to play with James Ryan a lot," the Ireland U-20s lock said.

"He was always the second-row with me so I used to look up to him a lot and take a lot of advice from him. I used to talk to him about these kind of experiences and stuff like that.

"And Ross Molony. He coached me when I was in fourth year as well for the Senior Cup so those two would definitely be people I'd look up to. They were in the same school as me so they've gone through that path as well."

Dowling maintains his starting place for tomorrow night's visit of France to Donnybrook but there have been a host of changes elsewhere.

Fit-again Bill Johnston comes straight back into the team with Johnny McPhillips missing out with a groin injury. Ulster's Rob Lyttle also returns from a spell out at full-back.

Calvin Nash skippers the side in the absence of Jack Kelly and Cillian Gallagher, while the exciting Tommy O'Brien is named at outside centre with Marcus Rea bolstering the back-row.

Dowling will have a new partner in the engine room in Jack Regan as Fineen Wycherley has been called up by Munster.

"In that kind of international rugby you really can't afford to make too many mistakes or else the other team will just capitalise on it straight away," Dowling warned.

"We actually did well to win both games so the main thing we're trying to do against France is to get good, clean ball, a good set-piece and focus on them."

Ireland U-20 (v France) - R Lyttle; J Larmour, T O'Brien, C Frawley, C Nash (capt); B Johnston, J Stewart; J Conway, T McElroy, C Connolly; R Regan, O Dowling; M Rea, P Boyle, C Doris. Reps: R Kelleher, R Mulvihill, P Cooper, G Coombes, S Masterson, J Lyons, C Fitzgerald, A McHenry.

Irish Independent

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