Ireland U-20 lose captain Dan Leavy

Philip Doyle makes three changes and a positional switch to Irish Women’s team for game against Italy at the Aviva stadium

 Ireland’s Dan Leavy is forced off with a shoulder injury against England at Franklin’s Gardens.  Chris Vaughan/Inpho

Ireland’s Dan Leavy is forced off with a shoulder injury against England at Franklin’s Gardens. Chris Vaughan/Inpho


There was some mixed news for Ireland coach Mike Ruddock ahead of Friday night’s Under 20 international against Italy at Dubarry Park (7.05).

Irish captain Dan Leavy has been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with a shoulder injury and will be replaced in the backrow by Bucaneers flanker Rory Moloney.

However influential number eight, Jack O’Donohue, who missed the defeat by England with concussion, is back after observing the return to play protocols. Sean O’Brien takes over the captain’s role.

There are two changes on the bench with Stephen Gardiner replacing Joe Joyce and Frankie Taggart, who started against England dropping down to the exclusion of Michael Trigg.

Ruddock admitted: “The end result against England did not reflect the effort and endeavour shown by this Irish side at Franklin’s Garden. We must take our chances when they come along and although we did well to draw with Italy last year we would be confident that at Dubarry Park we can get the desired result.”

Meanwhile Ireland Women’s head coach Philip Doyle has made three personnel and one positional change to the side that lost to England at Twickenham.

Experienced centre Grace Davitt comes in for Jenny Murphy while Amy Davis replaces Larissa Muldoon at scrumhalf. Both Murphy and Muldoon are included in the replacements.

Up front Gillian Bourke switches from hooker to tight-head with Stacey-Lea Kennedy coming in to the middle of the front row and Ailish Egan dropping to the bench. The only other change to the match day squad sees Paula Fitzpatrick replace Laura Guest among the substitutes. Grace Davitt is set to make her 50th cap for Ireland on Saturday against Italy.

Ireland U-20 : D Busby (QUB); C Kelleher (Lansdowne), D Goggin (Young Munster), P Robb (Old Belvedere), A Byrne (UCD); R Byrne (UCD), N McCarthy (UCD); P Dooley (Lansdowne), M Abbott (Cork Constitution), R Burke (Cork Constitution); S O’Brien (Galwegians, capt), Ross Molony (UCD); P Timmins (UCD), Rory Moloney (Buccaneers), J O’Donohue (UL Bohemian). Replacements: S McNulty (UCD), D Coulson (Lansdowne), O Heffernan (Lansdowne), S Gardiner (Lansdowne), F Taggart (Belfast Harlequins), J Cullen (Bruff), C McKeown (Lansdowne), H Brewer (Terenure College).

Ireland Women: N Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster); A Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), L Cantwell (Richmond /Exile), G Davitt (Cooke/Ulster), A Miller (Portlaoise/UCC/Connacht); N Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), A Davis (Blackrock/Ulster); F Coghlan (UL Bohemian/Leinster), S Lea-Kennedy (Cooke/Ulster), G Bourke (UL Bohemian/Munster); S Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), M L Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster); S Fleming (Tralee/Munster), C Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), H O’Brien (Highfield/Munster). Replacements: A Egan (Old Belveder/Leinster), F Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster), K A Craddock (Saracens/Exile), P Fitzpatrick (St Mary’s/Leinster), L Muldoon (Bristol/Exile), H Casey (Saracens/Exiles), J Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), J Shiels (Richmond/Exile)

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