Wednesday 21 February 2018

Six of the best in Ireland's U-20 squad

Jack Cullen is one of six Munster players selected for the Ireland U-20 Six Nations squad
Jack Cullen is one of six Munster players selected for the Ireland U-20 Six Nations squad

Six Munster players have been named in the 28-man Ireland U-20 squad for the Six Nations.

Forwards Max Abbott, Rory Burke and Jack O'Donoghue are named along with backs Jack Cullen, Alex Wootton and Dan Goggin.

Abbott represents Cork Con and the hooker is a former PBC player. The Corkman featured off the bench in Munster A's opening British & Irish Cup game against Stirling County earlier this season and has also represented the Ireland U-18 Schools team.

Tighthead prop Burke is a clubmate of Abbott and a member of the Greencore Munster Academy. Burke has represented Ireland at U-19 level and was called into the Irish national training camp in October and last season he competed in the Schools Senior Cup for CBC.

O'Donoghue is named in the squad for the second consecutive year. The Waterford man is a member of the Greencore Munster Academy and plays his club rugby for UL Bohemians. The back-rower has represented Munster A in the B&I Cup after making his debut at 18 against Rotherham Titans in December 2012.

O'Donoghue captained the Munster U-20s in this season's interprovincial series and also captained the Ireland U-18 Club side against France and England in 2012. He featured for the Ireland U-19s last year before getting a call-up to the U-20s squad for the Junior World Championship in France.

Scrum-half Cullen is the youngest member of the Munster academy having joined from the Saracens youth programme at the start of the season. Cullen played for the Irish U-18 Club side against Italy, Scotland, England and France in 2013. Most recently, the Bruff clubman lined out for Ireland U-19s against Australia Schools. Originally from Stockport, winger Wootton played for Ireland at the U-20 World Championship last summer. A product of Northampton Saints' academy, Wootton plays his club rugby with Garryowen and the 19-year-old has featured for the Munster A's and U-20s this season.

Young Munster's Goggin featured off the bench for Munster A against Plymouth at Waterford's RSC in the B&I Cup last month. The 19-year-old centre played in last season's Munster Schools Senior Cup with St Munchin's and was a member of the Munster U-20 squad for this season's interprovincial series.

Ireland U-20s begin their campaign against Scotland U-20s at Dubarry Park in Athlone tonight at 7.05.

Irish Independent

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