Four of Ireland’s Grand Slam heroes to miss World Championships

Harry Byrne, Scott Penny, David Hawkshaw and Conor Phillips out of U-20 World Championships

The Ireland Under-20 squad will be without outhalf Harry Byrne (hip flexor), flanker Scott Penny (shoulder), centre David Hawkshaw (ACL/MCL) and wing Conor Phillips (ACL) for the Junior World Championship in Argentina next month.

It's a significant blow for Noel McNamara's squad as they look to build on the U-20 Six Nations Grand Slam they won earlier in the season. Byrne played in the first three matches before picking up an injury, captain Hawkshaw suffered extensive knee ligament damage in training the week of the French game while Penny was an outstanding presence across all five games in the tournament.

Phillips, who played in the first couple of matches, misses out with a knee injury. The Irish U-20s beat a Leinster selection at Donnybrook last Friday and will take on a Munster team at Thomond Park on Saturday after which the extended 32-man squad will be cut down to the 28 players permitted under the rules of the tournament.

There are six uncapped players, hooker Declan Adamson and Charlie Ward from Clontarf, number eight Azur Allison (Ballymena) and centre Stewart Moore, both of whom were part of the original squad but missed the Six Nations through injury, Terenure's centre Adam LaGrue and Waterford born, Shannon secondrow Thomas Ahern.


Ireland take on England in their opening match, face Oceania champions Australia, who beat New Zealand 24-0 in the final of that competition and Italy in their pool matches.

Ireland U-20 extended squad: Declan Adamson (Clontarf/Leinster*), Thomas Ahern (Shannon/Munster*), Azur Allison (Ballymena/Ulster*), Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster), Tom Clarkson (Dublin University/Leinster), Brian Deeny (Clontarf/Leinster), John Hodnett (UCC/Munster), David McCann (Banbridge/Ulster), John McKee (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Michael Milne (UCD/Leinster), Martin Moloney (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Niall Murray (Buccaneers/Connacht), Callum Reid (Banbridge/Ulster), Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster, capt), Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians/Connacht), Charlie Ward (Clontarf/Leinster*), Ronan Watters (St Mary's College/Leinster), Josh Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster), Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster), Jake Flannery (Shannon/Munster), Cormac Foley (St Mary's College/Leinster), Sean French (Cork Constitution/Munster), Ben Healy (Garryowen/Munster), Bruce Houston (Ballymena/Ulster), Iwan Hughes (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Angus Kernohan (QUB/Ulster), Adam LaGrue (Terenure College/Leinster*), Stewart Moore (Malone/Ulster*), Colm Reilly (Buccaneers/Connacht), Rob Russell (Dublin University/Leinster), Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster), Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution/Munster).

*Denotes uncapped at this level

Ireland’s Under-20 Junior World Championship fixtures

Tuesday, June 4th

Pool A: England v Ireland, Club de Rugby Atheneo Immaculada, Santa Fe (7.30pm, Irish time)

Saturday, June 8th

Australia v Ireland, Club de Rugby Atheneo Immaculada, Santa Fe (2.30pm, Irish time)

Wednesday, June 12th

Italy v Ireland, Club de Rugby Atheneo Immaculada, Santa Fe (2.30pm, Irish time)

Monday, June 17th

Semi-Finals/Play-Offs: Racecourse Stadium, Rosario or Club Old Resian, Rosario

Saturday, June 22nd

Finals Day: Racecourse Stadium, Rosario or Club Old Resian, Rosario.

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer