Tuesday 20 March 2018

Only three survivors from last year's campaign in Ireland under-20 side to take on Wales

Ireland manager Nigel Carolan
Ireland manager Nigel Carolan
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Head Coach Nigel Carolan has named a side that is largely inexperienced at international level with just three players from last year's campaign for their Six Nations opener against Wales at Donnybrook tomorrow evening (kick-off 7.35pm).

Front-rowers Andrew Porter (Leinster), Adam McBurney (Ulster) and Conan O'Donnell (Connacht) return from last year and all have experience at A level for their provinces.

Captain James Ryan will pack down behind them in the second row.

Carolan is looking forward to seeing the next generation of Irish Rugby take to the field on Friday night and is expecting his players to hit the ground running: "We've been training well and the players are integrating nicely.

While the majority of the lads taking to the field on Friday will not have played at international level before, they have got good experience at provincial level and this has shown in their preparation over the last number of weeks and they're all looking forward to getting out there”.

Speaking on the move to Donnybrook for all three home games this season, Carolan said: "We played our final home game in Donnybrook last season and the 4G surface makes for a fast-paced game, regardless of the conditions. Dubarry Park was a great home for the Under 20s in recent seasons and we hope to replicate that support in Donnybrookon Friday night".

Jacob Stockdale, who is the fourth member of the squad that was involved in last season's campaign is involved with Ulster in their rescheduled Pro12 game and will join up with the squad next week.

Ireland under-20 side to face Wales: (15-9) Jack Power (UCD / Leinster), Matthew Byrne (Terenure / Leinster), Shane Daly (Cork Con / Munster), Jimmy O'Brien (UCD / Leinster), Hugo Keenan (UCD / Leinster), Johnny McPhillips (QUB / Ulster), John Poland (Cork Con / Munster); (1-8) Andrew Porter (UCD / Leinster), Adam McBurney (Ballymena / Ulster), Conan O'Donnell (Sligo / Connacht), Peter Claffey (Galwegians / Connacht), James Ryan (Lansdowne / Leinster), Cillian Gallagher (Sligo / Connacht), Will Connors (UCD / Leinster), Max Deegan (Lansdowne / Leinster).

Replacements: (16-23) Shane Fenton (Young Munster / Munster), James Bollard (Dublin University / Leinster), Conor Kenny (Buccaneers / Connacht), Sean O'Connor (Cashel / Munster), Kelvin Brown (Shannon / Munster), Stephen Kerins (Sligo / Connacht), Brett Connon (Newcastle Falcons), Conor O'Brien (Clontarf / Leinster).

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