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Meet the mini Slammers snapping at the heels of Andy Farrell’s men


Ruadhán Quinn, pictured with his family after the win over Scotland, has been very impressive in this campaign

Ruadhán Quinn, pictured with his family after the win over Scotland, has been very impressive in this campaign

Ruadhán Quinn, pictured with his family after the win over Scotland, has been very impressive in this campaign

With an identical record of four wins from four, and 19 points from a possible 20, the Ireland U-20s will hope to continue to follow the lead of their senior counterparts by winning the Grand Slam tomorrow. Here, we profile the young men who look to have bright futures.

George Hadden

Age: 20, Position: Loosehead prop, Club: Clontarf/Leinster

An ever-present, the Tinahely native, who played his underage rugby with Gorey, has really grown into the tournament.

Gus McCarthy

Age: 19, Position: Hooker, Club: UCD/Leinster

The captain has picked up where he left off last year when he led Blackrock to the Senior Cup by leading from the front.

Paddy McCarthy

Age: 19, Position: Tighthead prop, Club: Dublin University/Leinster

Younger brother of Leinster and Ireland lock Joe, he is a major talent. Part of the same successful Blackrock team that his namesake skippered.

Diarmuid Mangan

Age: 20, Position: Second-row, Club: UCD/Leinster

Won the Grand Slam last year, and has used that experience to take his game to greater heights this season.

Conor O’Tighearnaigh

Age: 19, Position: Second-row, Club: UCD/Leinster

Like his second-row partner, he helped last year’s side win the Slam. Maturing, as his lineout acumen has illustrated.

James McNabney

Age: 20, Position: Blindside, Club: Ballymena/Ulster

The third and final member of last year’s Grand Slam winners, the abrasive back-row has ensured that Ulster have been well-represented.

Ruadhán Quinn

Age: 19, Position: Openside, Club: Old Crescent/Munster

Made history in October by becoming Munster’s youngest player at 18, shortly after his Leaving Cert. The Ballina/Killaloe RFC man has delivered on his promise. Outstanding.

Brian Gleeson

Age: 19, Position: No 8, Club: Garryowen/Munster

Anyone who wasn’t familiar with the former Tipperary underage hurler before the tournament started certainly is now, as he has announced his arrival in stunning style. Eligible again next year, he has been excellent.

Fintan Gunne

Age: 19, Position: Scrum-half, Club: Terenure/Leinster

His desire to play at speed perfectly suits the exciting game-plan instilled by the coaches.

Sam Prendergast

Age: 19, Position: Out-half, Club: Lansdowne/Leinster

The hype train has already left the station, as the latest Prendergast brother after Connacht and Ireland back-row Cian has showed why there
is so much excitement about his potential with some scintillating displays.

Hugh Gavin

Age: 19, Position: Wing, Club: Galwegians/Connacht

The Salthill native followed his dad Barry by playing for Galwegians in the All-Ireland League (AIL). A physical threat, he can also play centre.

John Devine

Age: 19, Position: Centre, Club: Corinthians/Connacht

Will be aiming to make it a special year for the Ballinasloe-based Devine family after his younger brother Matthew was the sole Connacht representative in last season’s team.

Hugh Cooney

Age: 19, Position: Centre, Club: Clontarf/Blackrock

Also won the Senior Cup last year, he has kicked on after representing Ireland U-19s, looking more assured at this level.

James Nicholson

Age: 19, Position: Wing, Club: UCD/Leinster

His ability to play across the back-three means he reads the game well, and has adapted to the demands on him.

Henry McErlean

Age: 20, Position: Full-back, Club: Terenure/Leinster

Born and bred in Antrim, he hurled with Cushendall before moving to Dublin, he has excelled ever since turning to rugby in St Michael’s.

Danny Sheahan

Age: 18, Position: Hooker, Club: UCC/Munster

One of two nephews of former Munster and Ireland hooker Frankie Sheehan, he is underage again next year.

George Morris

Age: 19, Position: Loosehead, Club: Lansdowne/Leinster

Game-time has been hard to come by, but he has played his part.

Fiachna Barrett

Age: 20, Position: Tighthead, Club: Corinthians/Connacht

Grabbed his opportunity by starting the record win over Scotland.

Evan O’Connell

Age: 18, Position: Second-row, Club: UL Bohs/Munster

Injury cruelly rules the talented lock, nephew of Irish legend Paul, out of the Grand Slam decider, but he is underage again next year.

Jacob Sheahan

Age: 19, Position: Back-row, Club: UCC/Munster

Like his cousin Danny, a nephew of Frankie, and also back next year.

Oscar Cawley

Age: 19, Position: Scrum-half, Club: Naas/Leinster

The Kildare native hasn’t let his side down when called upon.

Harry West

Age: 19, Position: Out-half, Club: Buccaneers/Connacht

The Ballina RFC product has stepped up.

Rory Telfer

Age: 19, Position: Full-back, Club: Queen’s University/Ulster

The versatile back-three player has shown flashes of his talent by scoring two tries.

Andrew Osborne

Age: 19, Position: Wing, Club: Naas/Leinster

Younger brother of Leinster and Ireland squad member Jamie, highly rated.

Liam Molony

Age: 19, Position: Back-row, Club: Dublin University/Leinster

Another member of Blackrock’s victorious Cup team, the abrasive flanker is fit again after injury.

Matthew Lynch

Age: 20, Position: Out-half, Club: Dublin University/Leinster

A former Dublin minor, the Ballinteer St Johns clubman had his head turned by the oval ball after attending Terenure College.

Ike Anagu

Age: 20, Position: Wing, Club: La Rochelle

Waterford-born La Rochelle winger hasn’t played since a tricky outing in the opening win over Wales.

Joe Hopes

Age: 19 Position: Second-row Club: Queen’s University/Ulster

Donaghadee RFC product started out as a full-back and is set for his first appearance off the bench tomorrow.

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