Friday 19 January 2018

Gallagher and Masterson make Ireland U-20 Six Nations squad

Ireland U20's Cillian Picture: Sportsfile
Ireland U20's Cillian Picture: Sportsfile

Connacht's Cillian Gallagher and Sean Masterson were named as part of Ireland's U-20 squad for this year's Six Nations Championship.

Head coach Nigel Carolan named the western duo in the team for the opening rounds of the competition, which gets under way against Scotland next Friday.

Masterson, who follows in the footsteps of his older brother Eoghan at the Sportsground, is set to make his debut in the competition.

Corinthians and Connacht lock Gallagher is one of three players to return to the 32-man squad from last year's tournament.

Other players to return are Shannon and Munster back-row John Foley, Ulster and Ballynahinch out-half Johnny McPhillips as well as Jack Kelly of Dublin University and Leinster, who has been named as Ireland captain.

On selection of the squad, Carolan said: "As is the nature of U-20s rugby, we have a new-look squad this season, with just a few of last year's players returning, so it will be a new and exciting challenge for both the players and management.

"We had a number of camps before Christmas and the attitude and enthusiasm that the players brought with them to these camps has been extremely positive.

"While international rugby at U-20s level will be new to the most of these players, the majority of them have all come through the IRFU player-pathway and will have worn the green jersey at U-18 and U-19 levels.

"Several of the squad have also gotten good game-time with their provincial 'A' teams in the British and Irish Cup this season, so that should stand to them," Carolan added.

"The U-20 Six Nations Championship is always an exciting competition, but we'll be taking it one game at a time and we're looking forward to getting things under way against Scotland on Friday week."

The Ireland U-20s' opening clash in the Six Nations campaign against the Scots will take place next Friday at the Broadwood Stadium in Glasgow with an 8.30 kick-off.

Irish Independent

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