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Murphy’s U-20s to give France ‘a real lash’ in last shot at title


Ireland U-20 head coach Richie Murphy. Photo: Sportsfile

Ireland U-20 head coach Richie Murphy. Photo: Sportsfile

Ireland U-20 head coach Richie Murphy. Photo: Sportsfile

Richie Murphy’s battered and bruised Ireland Under-20 side is ready for one last big effort in the Under-20s Six Nations as they hope for Italy to do them a title favour this afternoon.

The young men in green round off their Championship against France in Cardiff today knowing they must win and hope the Azzurri beat England if they are to lift the trophy.

Unbeaten England are chasing a Grand Slam and will most likely complete a clean sweep leaving Ireland – should they get the better of France – to finish second.

Head coach Murphy admitted such a situation would represent a successful Championship for Ireland, but the challenge for his players is to find some energy from somewhere.

All six sides have played their five matches over the course of 25 days which has been an arduous schedule given many of those involved have had little rugby for the last 18 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our focus has been on rest and recovery. The boys were hurting after playing their first four games but we had no injuries from the Italy game which was good,” said Murphy.

“We want to give it a real lash in our last game. England will control who wins the title, but we are in with a shot and it’s going to be exciting.

“To go home with four wins would make it a good competition for us.”

With a tired squad to manage, Murphy has made seven changes to the team which beat Italy with scrum-half Nathan Doak in an unusual out-half position.

Munster’s Alex Kendellen again leads the side and Ireland will be in for a tough test against a French side who have some serious talent in their ranks.

“It has been a long Championship, but the group has been able to refocus and reset after last week’s win over Italy and we’re all really looking forward to the last game of the campaign,” Murphy added.

“It has taken a huge effort from everyone involved but we have grown as a squad over the last five weeks and we’re excited to see how we can perform against France.”


Ireland U-20s – Osborne; Moxham, Postlethwaite, Forde, Jennings; Doak, McKeel; Lasisi, Loughnane, Illo, Morrissey, Sheridan, Soroka, McCormack, Kendellen (capt). Reps: De Buitléar, Saunderson, Bishop, Kelleher, Crothers, Reilly, Carson, Cosgrave, O’Donoghue, Byrne, Mullins.

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