Tuesday 16 January 2018

Betts poised to make Ireland debut

Ben Betts plays as a prop for Young Munster
Ben Betts plays as a prop for Young Munster

Declan Rooney

Young Munster prop Ben Betts is in line to win his first Ireland U-20 cap against England at Kingston Park in Newcastle this evening (6.05pm).

Betts, who is in his first year in the Munster sub-academy, has been drafted into Nigel Carolan's Ireland squad after injury ruled Connacht's Conor Kenny of this weekend's game.

The tighthead prop hails from Ballyhahill in Co Limerick and lined out for his local club Shannon Estuary before making the move to the Cookies.

And Betts is in familiar company on the bench this evening as hooker Shane Fenton, lock Sean O'Connor, flanker Kelvin Brown and scrum-half John Poland also represent Munster and are named among the replacements for the key Six Nations game.

Once again Cork Con's Shane Daly starts at outside centre for Ireland, but he is the only Munster starter in this game.

Back-to-back defeats to Wales and France have left the Ireland U-20s in desperate need of a win against an England side that has beaten Italy, but lost heavily to Scotland in round one.

Carolan knows a win is crucial for his side as they bid to ramp up their experience of the big occasion.

"We were disappointed with the result in France last time out. We started the game well, but we let things slip away from us before half-time and never recovered," said Carolan.

"We are expecting a tough encounter. The English side made up for their opening loss to Scotland with a convincing win against Italy so we are prepared for them to be coming into this game full of confidence."

Irish Independent

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