Monday 25 March 2019

Kernohan return boosts Ireland U-20s' options

Ireland U20 forwards coach Ambrose Conboy. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland U20 forwards coach Ambrose Conboy. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Ulster winger Angus Kernohan is set to feature for the first time in this season's U-20s Six Nations against Italy on Friday night as Ireland look to keep their Grand Slam dream alive.

One of the standout players in last year's team, Kernohan went on to enjoy a fine breakthrough season with Ulster and started at full-back in the win over the Ospreys last weekend.

Craig Casey (knee) is fit again having missed the win over Scotland last time out.

Exciting Leinster lock Ryan Baird is also back in contention having featured for Trinity in the AIL on Saturday.

The news is less positive for Azur Allison however, as the Ulster No 8 is set to undergo surgery on a persistent groin issue, while his provincial team-mate Stewart Moore is still being managed for concussion.

"It's a real pity, particularly Azur because he worked really well for us in Scotland last year when we went over there pre-World Cup," forwards coach Ambrose Conboy said.

"Stewart, from what I have seen of him in camp, has been really good for us at the start. He was very unlucky with his head injury.

"Ryan is going to give us something that is going to be physical. His athletic qualities are something that are wished upon by most players.

"So he is in a pretty good position to put himself into selection. We are looking forward to having him back in, just up-skilling him again with a few changes in the lineout.

"Our scrum has gone pretty well as well so it's just to make sure he is on point with those things.

"The settled squad is really important for this group but it's still about player development at this age level. It's about getting all those guys as much exposure and game time as possible."

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