World Rugby U20 Championships: Ireland name side for Italy opener

Ireland have named their side for their opening game of the 2017 World Rugby U20 Championships, against Italy.


Ireland reached the final last year in Manchester, and will be hoping to go one better in Georgia this year, but face a tough pool that also includes New Zealand and Scotland.


The game kicks off at 12.30pm (BST) at the AIA Arena in Kutaisi, following on fro the pool opener between Scotland and New Zealand.


Leinster’s Paul Boyle captains the side from openside, with Munster’s Gavin Coombes at number 8 and Ulster’s Marcus Rea at blindside.


Fineen Wyherley and Osin Dowling are the second row combination, with Joey Conway and Charlie Connolly the props, either side of Munster’s Diarmuid Barron, who makes his U20 debut.


In the back division there is another debutant at fly half, with Bill Johnston and Johnny McPhillips both out with injuries, in Conor Dean, son of the former Lion and current Ireland senor team manager, Paul.


Dean is partnered at half back by Ulster scrum half Jonny Stewart, with Ciaran Frawley and Gavin Mullin the all UCD and Leinster centre combination.


Calvin Nash and Colm Hogan are on the wings, and without star of the 6 Nations Jordan Larmour to call on, Jack Kelly starts at full back.


There could be debuts from the bench for Munster’s Alan Tynan, and Ireland U19 fly half, Angus Curtis.


Speaking ahead of the game, Ireland U20 Head Coach, Peter Malone, said:


“The U20 World Championship is always an exciting competition and we are looking forward to the challenge ahead of us. We’re looking forward to the game against Italy and starting the tournament. Having played them a few months ago in the Six Nations, we know they are not a team to be underestimated, but the team are excited, focused and determined to make a good start.”


Ireland U20 v Wales U20 – World Rugby U20 Championships, Wednesday 31st May, 12.30pm kick off (BST), AIA Arena, Kutaisi – Live on


Ireland U20 XV

15 Jack Kelly (Dublin University/Leinster)

14 Colm Hogan (Dublin University/Munster)

13 Gavin Mullin (UCD/Leinster)

12 Ciaran Frawley (UCD/Leinster)

11 Calvin Nash (Young Munster/Munster)

10 Conor Dean (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)

9 Jonny Stewart (Queen’s University/Ulster)

1 Joey Conway (UL Bohemians/Munster)

2 Diarmuid Barron (Garryowen/Munster)

3 Charlie Connolly (Dublin University/Leinster)

4 Fineen Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster)

5 Oisin Dowling (Lansdowne/Leinster)

6 Marcus Rea (Queen’s University/Ulster)

7 Paul Boyle (Lansdowne/Leinster, captain)

8 Gavin Coombes (Young Munster/Munster)


Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher (UCD/Leinster), 17 Greg McGrath (Lansdowne/Leinster), 18 Peter Cooper (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), 19 Jack Regan (UCD/Leinster), 20 Sean Masterson (Corinthians/Connacht), 21 Jack Stafford (Shannon/Munster), 22 Angus Curtis (Queen’s University/Ulster), 23 Alan Tynan (Young Munster/Munster).


Ireland Fixtures at the World Rugby U20 Championships:

Wednesday 31st May – Italy, Kutaisi Stadium, Kutaisi (KO 3.30pm/12.30pm BST)

Sunday 4th June – Scotland, Kutaisi Stadium, Kutaisi (KO 1pm/10am BST)

Thursday 8th June – New Zealand, Kutaisi Stadium, Kutaisi (KO 3.30pm/12.30pm BST)

Tuesday 13th June – Semi-finals and knock-out matches

Sunday 18th June – Final and knock-out matches


2017 World Rugby U20 Championships Pools
Pool APool BPool C
SamoaNew ZealandGeorgia
WalesScotlandSouth Africa
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