Wednesday 22 November 2017

The best is yet to come from U-20s, vows confident Frawley

Ciaran Frawley of Ireland is tackled by Dylan Cretin of France
Ciaran Frawley of Ireland is tackled by Dylan Cretin of France
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Come Friday evening, there will be a lot more at stake for the Ireland U-20s than just spoiling England's party as Nigel Carolan's youngsters get one final chance to impress in a competitive environment before June's World Cup.

Last year's team stuttered in the Six Nations before really hitting their straps on the world stage as they marched all the way to the final, but they came unstuck against England.

This season's squad have quietly impressed without really setting the tournament alight but the hope is that they can muster a similarly impressive run in Georgia come the summer.

The pack came into the Six Nations under a bit of pressure but they have responded in kind and their scrum has become a real weapon. Injuries have meant that Carolan has been unable to start the same back-line thus far but Ciaran Frawley doesn't view that as an issue.

The Skerries native has made the number 12 jersey his own in recent weeks and he believes that the best is yet to come from his side.

"We still want to make an impression," Frawley insisted.

"We haven't played to our full potential yet, but I really believe that we can. We can step it up another notch, and on Paddy's Day especially.

"To play England at home, with the home crowd there, I really think that it would be a bit of a boost anyway, and it'll get a bit more of a performance out of us.

"Obviously with the rivalry, it goes back years now. Especially at home on Paddy's Day, there's no better occasion to be playing in. It'll be really good to perform against them, they're a very good side.

"They've had a bonus point in every single game they've played. There's a lot to expect from them. Even just a good performance, that's all we're looking for, and just put it up to them really.

"It would be good to spoil that for them, but we're worrying about ourselves as well. We just want to perform. We haven't performed to our capabilities yet. We've a lot more in us I believe, but I really think we can put it up to the English, and hopefully spoil that party for them."

There has been an added edge in training this week and not just because England are coming to town.

"With everyone injury-free, it's very hard to get into this back-line," Frawley added.

"I feel that this game is a huge opportunity. It's a home game against a very good opposition. If you perform well, it shows you're up to the standard for this level."

Irish Independent

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