Evan O’Connell leads Ireland as U20s team for World Rugby Championship is named

There are five returning players from last year, as Ireland finished runners-up behind France

Ireland's kitman Lar Hogan and Evan O'Connell celebrate after Six Nations game. Photograph: Ben Brady/Inpho

Ireland’s under-20s head coach Willie Faloon has named his 30-man squad for the World Rugby U20 Championship in South Africa

Evan O’Connell will captain the side, as they prepare to face Australia, Italy and Georgia in Pool B.

O’Connell, Brian Gleeson, Danny Sheahan, Hugh Gavin, and Sam Berman are the five returning players from last year’s tournament where Ireland lost in the final against France.

Ireland open their campaign against Six Nations rivals Italy on Saturday, June 29th (3.30pm Irish time) at DHL Stadium in Cape Town, before facing Georgia on Thursday, July 4th (1pm) at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch and Australia on Tuesday, July 9th (1pm) at Athlone Sports Stadium in Cape Town.


“It is an exciting time for the squad as we prepare to depart for the World Rugby U20 Championship,” Faloon said. “It has been a competitive couple of weeks as the squad have pushed each other in preparation for the tournament and we know we’ll need to grow and evolve as a team from the Six Nations for what will be a challenging couple of weeks against quality opposition in South Africa.”

Ireland U20s Squad

Forwards (17):

Alex Usanov (Clontarf FC/Leinster), Stephen Smyth (Old Wesley RFC/Leinster), Patreece Bell (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby), Alan Spicer (UCD RFC/Leinster), Evan O’Connell (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)(capt), James McKillop (Queen’s University RFC/Ulster), Max Flynn (Corinthians RFC/Connacht), Brian Gleeson (Garryowen FC/Munster), Emmet Calvey (Shannon RFC/Munster), Danny Sheahan (Cork Constitution FC/Munster), Jacob Boyd (Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster), Billy Corrigan (Old Wesley RFC/Leinster), Sean Edogbo (UCC RFC/Munster), Bryn Ward (Ballynahinch RFC/Ulster), Luke Murphy (Shannon RFC/Munster), Mikey Yarr (Lansdowne FC/Leinster), Andrew Sparrow (UCD RFC/Leinster).

Backs (13):

Oliver Coffey (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster), Jack Murphy (Clontarf FC/Ulster), Hugo McLaughlin (Lansdowne FC/Leinster), Hugh Gavin (Galwegians RFC/Connacht), Wilhelm de Klerk (UCD RFC/Ulster), Finn Treacy (Galwegians RFC/Connacht), Ben O’Connor (UCC RFC/Munster), Tadhg Brophy (Naas RFC/Leinster), Sean Naughton (Galway Corinthians RFC/Connacht), Sam Berman (Terenure RFC/Ulster), Davy Colbert (Dublin University FC/Leinster), Ruben Moloney (UCD RFC/Leinster), Jake O’Riordan (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster).