Thursday 14 December 2017

Kelly back to boost U-20s' Grand Slam bid

Captain Jack Kelly is set to return for the Ireland U-20s' clash against Wales on Saturday Stock photo: Getty
Captain Jack Kelly is set to return for the Ireland U-20s' clash against Wales on Saturday Stock photo: Getty
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Ireland U-20s have been handed a boost in their bid to set up a St Patrick's Day Grand Slam showdown with England as captain Jack Kelly has been passed fit to return against Wales on Saturday.

However, they will have to plan without Gavin Mullin and Johnny McPhillips, who have been ruled out of the remainder of the Six Nations.

Kelly injured his shoulder in the opening win in Scotland and missed the victories over Italy and France but he took a full part in training yesterday and is set to return to the starting XV.

Mullin pulled a hamstring that has given him trouble in the past during the open training session with the senior team in Monaghan two weeks ago and the centre will play no further part in the tournament; he will instead focus on fully recovering for the Junior World Cup in June.

Ulster out-half McPhillips picked up a groin injury in training.

"He'll definitely mix the Six Nations and Ulster are going to rehab him then," assistant coach Peter Malone said.

"Hopefully he'll be back in six to eight weeks but he's definitely out for the rest of the Six Nations."

Calvin Nash, who was forced off in the opening stages of the win over France last time out, has passed his return to play protocols and is also back in the mix for the crucial clash against Wales.

Fresh from making his senior debut with Munster last weekend, second-row Fineen Wycherley is back to bolster the pack.

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