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Irish under-20s coach Noel McNamara names his starting XV for Six Nations opener against England


Ireland U-20 head coach Noel McNamara Photo: Sportsfile

Ireland U-20 head coach Noel McNamara Photo: Sportsfile


Ireland U-20 head coach Noel McNamara Photo: Sportsfile

Ireland under-20s boss Noel McNamara has named his matchday 23 for Friday's Six Nations opener against England at Irish Independent Park on Friday (kick-off 7.35pm).

In the front-row, props Josh Wycherley and Thomas Clarkson will start alongside hooker Dylan Tierney-Martin, who wins his second U20 cap having made his debut at last season’s U20 World Championships.

Charlie Ryan, who returns for his second U20 Six Nations campaign, starts in the second row alongside Niall Murray.

Martin Moloney, Scott Penny and Number 8 John Hodnett are named in the back row.

Scrum-half Craig Casey will partner out-half Harry Byrne, who is set to win his 11th U20 cap.

Captain David Hawkshaw partners Liam Turner the centre.

Jake Flannery starts at full-back, with Conor Phillips and Jonathan Wren lining out on the wings.

Ahead of the Ireland U20s debut test in Cork, McNamara said: "The players have prepared very well since we first came together before Christmas. We had a good camp last week in Cork and are looking forward to the challenge that England will bring this Friday night.

"We have a very talented group of players in the squad, and there were a number of tight calls on selection for this game. There is a lot of rugby to be played over the coming weeks and months, so the competitiveness in the squad is a real positive and bodes well for the season ahead.

"Everyone involved is excited to be heading to Irish Independent Park for this opening fixture. It’s a great venue, with a nice fast pitch and we’re looking forward to getting the campaign underway in front of an energetic and lively crowd in Cork."

Ireland: (15-9)  Jake Flannery (Shannon RFC / Munster), Conor Phillips (Young Munster RFC / Munster), Liam Turner (Dublin University FC / Leinster), David Hawkshaw (Clontarf FC / Leinster), Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution FC / Munster), Harry Byrne (Lansdowne FC / Leinster), Craig Casey (SShannon RFC / Munster); (1-8) Josh Wycherley (Young Munster RFC / Munster), Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians RFC / Connacht), Thomas Clarkson (Dublin University FC / Leinster), Charlie Ryan (UCD RFC / Leinster), Niall Murray (Buccaneers RFC / Connacht), Martin Moloney (Old Belvedere RFC / Leinster), Scott Penny (UCD RFC / Leinster), John Hodnett (UCC RFC / Munster)

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