Ruddock's charges aiming to set the record straight
Ireland Under-20 v England Under-20:IRELAND ARE hoping it will be third time lucky after a Grand Slam defeat earlier this year against England followed by a loss in the pool stages of the IRB Junior World Cup. Mike Ruddock’s charges now meet the English again in a play-off semi-final for fifth place tomorrow.
Ireland’s best previous finishing position in the under-20 format of the competition was seventh so a win over England would guarantee Ruddock’s side a fifth-sixth place play-off and their best finish ever.
Most recently in the pool stages England came from behind to win the match on a stamina-sapping bog of a pitch 20-15.
That result effectively put Ireland out of the knock-out stages of the tournament as England subsequently lost to South Africa in their final pool match and the Baby Boks progressed from the group leaving England to meet Ireland again in Cape Town.
Whoever comes through at the University of Western Cape Stadium faces the winners of the match between France and Australia, who meet in the other fifth place semi-final.
Meanwhile at the business end of the competition, the four teams competing for a place in the final are Wales against favourites New Zealand and Argentina against South Africa.
The Irish management have made a number of changes to the side which overcame Italy 41- 12 in their final pool game.
Peter Nelson takes up the full back position while Barry Daily joins Foster Horan on the wing. Stuart Olding makes his first start of the tournament joining Chris Farrell in the centre while JJ Hanrahan and Kieran Marmion return to the starting team at outhalf and scrumhalf respectively.
Captain Niall Scannell and Tadhg Furlong return to the front row with Des Merry.
Tadhg Bernie has been named alongside Alan O’Connor in the second row while the impressive Iain Henderson moves from second row to blindside and joins Jack Conan and Jordan Coghlan in the back row.
There is still one place to be filled in the replacements.
IRELAND: P Nelson; B Daly, S Olding, C Farrell, F Horan; JJ Hanrahan, K Marmion; D Merry, N Scannell, T Furlong, A O’Connor, T Beirne, I Henderson, J Conan, J Coghlan. Replacements: J Rael, P Reilly, J Cawley, AN Other, A Conneely, L McGrath, J Carty, M Sherlock