Thursday 18 January 2018

Three changes to Ireland U20s for Scottish showdown

James Ryan following the U20 Six Nations Rugby match against Wales. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
James Ryan following the U20 Six Nations Rugby match against Wales. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Head coach Nigel Carolan has made three changes to the Ireland U20 side that beat Italy last week for Friday’s final game of the Six Nations against Scotland at Donnybrook.

Having lost their opening two games against Wales and France, Carolan’s young charges bounced back with consecutive wins over England and Italy and can now, conceivably, finish the campaign in second, should they beat the Scots by a large margin.

There are two changes to the pack as Dublin University prop James Bollard and Cashel's Sean O'Connor are handed their first starts. Stephen Kerins has recovered from the knee injury that kept him out of the Italy game and returns to scrum-half.
In the subs, Naas prop Adam Coyle will be hoping to make his first U20 appearance. Terenure's Matthew Byrne replaces Terry Kennedy who is involved with the Ireland Sevens this week in Madrid.
The side will again be led by Leinster and Lansdowne lock James Ryan.
Speaking ahead of Ireland's final Six Nations game, Carolan said;
"Unforced errors and an unusually high penalty count meant that we made hard work of the win against a gritty Italy side last Friday night. However, we came away with the result and that's the important thing.
Scotland are a strong side with a lot of quality players in their team. It will be a tough game on Friday but I'm confident that we can put in a big performance and finish on a winning note.”

Ireland U20 side to face Scotland (ko 7 35)
15. Brett Connon (Newcastle Falcons)
14. Hugo Keenan (UCD / Leinster)
13. Shane Daly (Cork Con / Munster)
12. Conor O'Brien (Clontarf / Leinster)
11. Jacob Stockdale (Belfast Harlequins / Ulster)
10. Johnny McPhillips (Queens University / Ulster)
9. Stephen Kerins (Sligo / Connacht)
1. James Bollard (Dublin University / Leinster)
2. Adam McBurney (Ballymena / Ulster)
3. Conán O'Donnell (Sligo / Connacht)
4. Sean O'Connor (Cashel / Munster)
5. James Ryan (Lansdowne / Leinster) Captain
6. Cillian Gallagher (Sligo / Connacht)
7. Will Connors (UCD / Leinster)
8. Greg Jones (UCD / Leinster)
16. Hugo Kean (St. Mary's / Leinster)*
17. Andrew Porter (UCD / Leinster)
 18. Adam Coyle (Naas / Leinster)*
19. Peter Claffey (Galwegians / Connacht
20. Max Deegan (Lansdowne / Leinster)
21. John Poland (Cork Con / Munster)
22. Paul Kiernan (UCC / Munster)
23. Matthew Byrne (Terenure / Leinster)

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