The Ireland side to face France on Friday night in the U20 6 Nations has been named.
The 8pm kick off takes place at Donnybrook Stadium in Dublin, and Ireland have made a number of changes to the side that backed up their win over Scotland with a narrow victory over Italy.
It is Ireland’s first home game of the Championships, and Head Coach Nigel Carolan has brought in Ulster full back Rob Lyttle to make his debut, with Calvin Nash of Munster taking over the captaincy on the left wing in the absence of the first and second choice captains, Jack Kelly ad Cillian Gallagher. Jordan Larmour completes the back three.
There is a Leinster partnership in midfield with Tommy O’Brien and Ciaran Frawley combining, while in the half backs Sedberhg old boy Johnny McPhillips is injured, meaning that Munster fly half Bill Johnston, who played against New Zealand in the World Rugby U20 Championships back in June, gets a start, with Johnny Stewart alongside him at scrum half.
Joey Conway, Tadgh McElroy and Charlie Connolly continue in the front row, while the second row partnership is Jack Regan and Oisin Dowling. Marcus Rea comes into the side at blindside, with Paul Boye and Caelan Dorris completing the back row.
Speaking to Irish Rugby ahead of the Friday evening’s game, Head Coach Nigel Carolan said:
“We’ve been forced to make a number of changes due to injuries this week, but that gives other players the opportunity to demonstrate what they can offer. The players trained with the Senior squad last Friday in Monaghan and they will have taken a lot of positives from that session which they carried into training this week.”
“The French bounced back well from their defeat to England to win convincingly against Scotland, so we have a big challenge ahead of us this Friday, however with the quick surface in Donnybrook, along with playing in front of our home fans, the players are looking forward to getting out there and are looking to put in a good performance”.
Ireland U20 v France U20 – Friday, 8pm, Donnybrook, Live on RTE 2
Ireland U20 XV
15 Rob Lyttle (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster), 14 Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), 13 Tommy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster), 12 Ciaran Frawley (UCD/Leinster), 11 Calvin Nash (Young Munster/Munster, captain), 10 Bill Johnston (Garryowen/Munster), 9 Johnny Stewart (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster), 1 Joey Conway (UL Bohemians/Munster), 2 Tadgh McElroy (Lansdowne/Leinster), 3 Charlie Connolly (Dublin University/Leinster), 4 Jack Regan (UCD/Leinster), 5 Oisin Dowling (Lansdowne/Leinster), 6 Marcus Rea (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster), 7 Paul Boyle (Lansdowne/Leinster), 8 Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College/Leinster).
Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher (UCD RFC/Leinster), 17 Rory Mulvihill (UCD/Leinster), 18 Peter Cooper (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), 19 Gavin Coombes (Young Munster/Munster), 20 Sean Masterson (Corinthians/Connacht), 21 Jack Lyons (Young Munster/Munster), 22 Conor Fitzgerald (Shannon RFC/Munster), 23 Alex McHenry (Cork Constitution/Munster).