Ireland U20 make six changes ahead of World Championship relegation playoff with Japan
Noel McNamara has named his Irish side to contest their U20 World championship playoff against Japan, making six changes from last Tuesday's defeat to Scotland.
Dan Sheehan and Jack Aungier make starting returns to the front row while Cormac Daly and Jack Daly come in at lock and back row respectively.
In the backs, the experienced Jonny Stewart takes the number nine jersey while Michael Lowry replaces Michael Silvester at fullback for his first start of the tournament.
Ireland face their relegation battle after Pool C losses to France, South Africa and Georgia and a 9th place semi-final loss to Scotland. If they are unsuccessful in their clash with Japan in Stade de la Mediterranee in Béziers at 10 am on Sunday, next year’s crop of Irish U20s will not be afforded the opportunity to play in the competition.
Instead, they will play in the U20 World Trophy.
Diarmuid Barron, Aaron Hall and Michael Silvester have all been ruled out of the game through injury and have returned home, while uncapped Dylan Tierney comes onto the bench at hooker.
Ahead of the game, McNamara said that Ireland can’t underestimate Japan in a game that they never envisaged themselves playing in.
"This isn’t a position we imagined we’d be in, but we know how important it’s going to be to get the win tomorrow," he said.
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"Japan showed on Tuesday that they are a tough outfit and it took a late Georgia try to beat them, so we are aware of the threats they pose.
"There’s a huge amount on the line tomorrow and everyone involved is fully focused on getting the result."
The Irish team to face Japan in the hugely important game is as follows:
15. Michael Lowry (Banbridge/Ulster)
14. James Hume (Banbridge /Ulster)
13. Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
12. Peter Sylvester (UCC/Munster)
11. Tommy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
10. Harry Byrne (UCD/Leinster)
9. Jonny Stewart (Queen's University/Ulster)
1. Jordan Duggan (Naas/Leinster)
2. Dan Sheehan (Dublin University/Leinster)
3. Jack Aungier (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
4. Cormac Daly (Clontarf/Leinster)
5. Jack Dunne (Dublin University/Leinster)
6. Jack Daly (Garryowen FC/Munster)
7. Matthew Agnew (Ballymena/Ulster)
8. Caelan Doris (St. Mary's College/Leinster) Captain
16. Dylan Tierney (Corinthians/Connacht)
17. Jakub Wojtkowicz (Sligo RFC/Connacht)
18. Joe Byrne (Dublin University/Leinster)
19. Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster)
20. Joe Dunleavy (Malone/Ulster)
21. Hugh O’Sullivan (Clontarf/Leinster)
22. Conor Dean (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
23. Tom Roche (Lansdowne/Leinster)
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