Injury ravaged Ireland Under-20s name XV for Italy finale

Stewart Moore and John Hodnett head home but Ryan Baird has escaped suspension

Ireland's injury woes continued with two of Ireland's outstanding players in the Rugby World Junior Championship, centre Stewart Moore and number eight John Hodnett, returning home because of injury.

They are replaced by Luke Clohessy and David Ryan, a younger brother of Leinster and Irish international James.

The squad have now lost four players - Iwan Hughes and Sean French were invalided out of the tournament after the England game - from that which travelled to Argentina and nine in total from that which won a Six Nations Grand Slam.

The one positive to arise from their 45-17 defeat to Australia was that Ryan Baird, who received a red card for a high tackle during the game, didn't incur a suspension as the disciplinary panel accepted video evidence which established the first contact was on the chest area of his opponent, Australia outhalf Will Harrison.


Ireland head coach Noel McNamara makes nine changes to the side that lost to Australia. John McKee and Michael Milne come into the frontrow, Under-19 international lock Thomas Ahern partners Baird in the second row, while Azur Allison and Ciaran Booth are promoted to the starting backrow.

Colm Reilly replaces Craig Casey at scrumhalf, Ben Healy starts at outhalf with Jake Flannery switching to fullback, Cormac Foley is named at inside centre while Rob Russell will start on the wing. Ireland need to win with a four-try bonus point in an attempt to make the semi-finals as the best runner up across the three pools. They can’t overtake Australia at the top of Pool B irrespective of what happens in tomorrow’s matches.

Ireland U-20 team to play Italy: Jake Flannery (Shannon/Munster); Angus Kernohan (Queen's University/Ulster), Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster), Cormac Foley (St.Mary's College/Leinster, Rob Russell (Dublin University/Leinster); Ben Healy (Garryowen/Munster), Colm Reilly (Buccaneers/Connacht); Josh Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster), John McKee (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Michael Milne (UCD/Leinster), Thomas Ahern (Shannon/Munster), Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster), David McCann (Banbridge/Ulster), Ciaran Booth (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby), Azur Allison (Ballymena/Ulster). Replacements: Declan Adamson (Clontarf/Leinster), Tom Clarkson (Dublin University/Leinster), Charlie Ward (Clontarf/Leinster), Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians/Connacht), Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster), Niall Murray (Buccaneers/Connacht), Luke Clohessy (Shannon/Munster)*, Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster), Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution/Munster), David Ryan (UCD/Leinster) *, Aaron O'Sullivan (UCD/Leinster) *, Max O'Reilly (Dublin University/Leinster) *

*Denotes uncapped at this level

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (SARU)

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer