Friday 19 January 2018

Kenny set for U-20s debut in Narbonne

Ireland U20 head coach Nigel Carolan. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Ireland U20 head coach Nigel Carolan. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Ireland U-20 coach Nigel Carolan has handed a first international start to Buccaneers prop Conor Kenny for this evening's U-20 Six Nations clash with France in Narbonne (9.05pm).

The former Garbally College tighthead comes into the team to replace his Connacht team-mate Conan O'Donnell after filling the No 18 shirt in last week's opening-day defeat to Wales at Donnybrook.

Kenny will be joined by another four Connacht players in the match-day 23 as Ireland and Carolan look for their first win.

After last week's try-scoring exploits, Sligo RFC flanker Cillian Gallagher retains the No 6 shirt for the trip to France, while second-row Peter Claffey from Galwegians makes his second U-20 start.

Elsewhere, on the replacements bench, O'Donnell is joined by fellow Sligonian Stephen Kerins, who made his U-20 debut last weekend at Donnybrook.

"We were disappointed with how things went against Wales. I thought that we played well overall but mistakes proved costly in the end. We've hopefully addressed the key areas and we'll be looking for an improved performance," said Carolan.

"Our training sessions this week have been very positive and the players are looking forward to the game in Narbonne. If we can maximise on our opportunities, I'd be confident of a result against the French."

The introduction of Kenny to the starting 15 is one of three changes made by Carolan to the side. Cork Con's Dan Walsh replaces the injured Will Connors at openside, while full-back Jack Power is replaced by Conor O'Brien.

Irish Independent

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