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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Age: 19, Position: Scrum-half, Club: Terenure/Leinster
His desire to play at speed perfectly suits the exciting game-plan instilled by the coaches.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Age: 19, Position: Loosehead, Club: Lansdowne/Leinster
Game-time has been hard to come by, but he has played his part.
Age: 20, Position: Tighthead, Club: Corinthians/Connacht
Grabbed his opportunity by starting the record win over Scotland.
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.
Age: 19, Position: Back-row, Club: UCC/Munster
Like his cousin Danny, a nephew of Frankie, and also back next year.
Age: 19, Position: Scrum-half, Club: Naas/Leinster
The Kildare native hasn’t let his side down when called upon.
Age: 19, Position: Out-half, Club: Buccaneers/Connacht
The Ballina RFC product has stepped up.
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.
Age: 19, Position: Wing, Club: Naas/Leinster
Younger brother of Leinster and Ireland squad member Jamie, highly rated.
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.
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.
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.
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.