| 7.9°C Dublin

Boss Ruddock gives McGrath nod to captain Ireland U-20s

IRELAND coach Mike Ruddock has appointed Leinster's Luke McGrath as his captain to a 28-player squad for the U-20 World Cup in France from June 5-23.

"I am expecting them to really put a challenge up in a very difficult group with Australia first. It is a key game," Ruddock said.

"If we can win that, we can kick on. We've got Fiji second. They can't be underestimated. Then, we've got New Zealand. We'll make sure we're really up for that game as well."

Leinster hold the greatest number of players with 13 and Ruddock has included five not involved in the Six Nations – Leinster's Edward Byrne, Adam Byrne, Thomas Farrell and Daniel Leavy and Munster's Jack O'Donoghue.

Connacht's Robbie Henshaw and Ulster's Stuart Olding have graduated to Ireland senior status, while Ulster's Chris Farrell has not made it back from a serious knee injury.

IRELAND (U-20 Squad): L McGrath (Leinster, capt), A Boland (Connacht), E Byrne (Leinster), A Byrne (Leinster), B Byrne (Leinster), S Crosbie (Leinster), T Daly (Leinster), J Donnan (Ulster), P Dooley (Leinster), T Farrell (Leinster), R Furniss (Worcester), C Joyce (Ulster), D Leader (Connacht), D Leavy (Leinster), S McCarthy (Munster), G McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons), R Murphy (Munster), J O'Donoghue (Munster), D Panther (Connacht), M Roche (Connacht), R Scannell (Munster), R Scholes (Ulster), D Shanahan (Leinster), D Sweetnam (Munster), C Taylor (Ulster), G Thornbury (Leinster), P Timmins (Leinster), J Van Der Flier (Leinster).


Molony and Dardis to join Blue academy

St Michael's College second row Ross Molony and Terenure College full-back Billy Dardis will move straight from school into the Leinster Academy.

There, they will join Ireland U-20 fly-half Steve Crosbie, centre Tom Daly, prop Peter Dooley and centre Adam Byrne, all moving up from the Sub-Academy.

Academy graduates Darren Hudson, Ben Marshall, Martin Moore, Jordi Murphy, Jack O'Connell and Noel Reid have all signed their first professional contracts.

Leinster Academy 2013/14

Year 1: Adam Byrne, Steve Crosbie, Thomas Daly, Billy Dardis, Peter Dooley, Ross Molony.

Year 2: Bryan Byrne, Edward Byrne, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Dan Leavy, Cathal Marsh, Gavin Thornbury, Josh van der Flier.

Year 3: Andrew Boyle, Jordan Coghlan, Sam Coghlan-Murray, Tadhg Furlong, Conor Gilsenan, Luke McGrath, Colm O'Shea, James Tracy.