Ireland’s Tom Daly ruled out of under-20 World Championships

Centre’s Lansdowne clubmate Thomas Farrell will start at outside centre against New Zealand

Ireland’s Tom Daly is out of the under-20 World Championships. Photograph: Jean Claude Le Boulicaut/Inpho

Ireland’s Tom Daly is out of the under-20 World Championships. Photograph: Jean Claude Le Boulicaut/Inpho

 

Ireland under-20 centre and goalkicker Tom Daly will miss the game crucial clash with New Zealand at the Junior World Championship after being ruled out of the rest of the tournament.

Daly suffered a hand injury in the 46-3 win over Fiji on Sunday in Vannes.

“Unfortunately Tom (Daly) broke his hand during the game against Fiji and will have to leave the tournament,” coach Mike Ruddock confirmed today. “Tom has been a major player all season and we are all very disappointed to see him leave like this. I would like to thank Tom for all he has given over the season and commend him on his achievements so far.

“This squad has shown remarkable resolve throughout the season, we have lost number of prolific players, including Robbie Henshaw and Stuart Olding, who were called up to the senior squad, but they have adapted and I am confident that they will adjust and are focused on the game against New Zealand.”

Northampton Saints and Exile player Alex Wootton has been called up to replace Daly ahead of Thursday’s game (5.45pm Irish time) against the Baby Blacks, which will decide who goes through to the semi-finals.

Daly had been in superb form in the centre as Ireland won both their opening games, with the Lansdowne clubman kicking 25 points in the tournament.

The Carlow native scored 14 points in the opening night 19-15 win over Australia and added another three penalties and a conversion in the facile win over the Fijians.

Daly’s Lansdowne clubmate Thomas Farrell will start at outside centre against New Zealand, alongside Dolphin and Munster player Rory Scannell. The returns of Adam Byrne to the wing and Luke McGrath to scrumhalf complete four changes to the backline.

Up front, prop Peter Dooley and hooker George McGuigan return to the frontrow, alongside Christopher Taylor of Malone and Ulster. Josh Van Der Flier will return on the blindside of the backrow, with Daniel Leavy moving to openside and Conor Joyce moving to number eight.

“This is a big game for both sides, the winner of this will have a guaranteed place in the semi-finals,” said Ruddock. “We have a huge respect for New Zealand rugby and particularly their record at this age grade level, but once the whistle goes on Thursday we will be as competitive as we can be to progress to the next round.”

Even if defeated on Thursday, Ireland could make the semi-finals by finishing as the highest second -placed team of the three groups.

Ireland under-20 (v New Zealand): Darragh Leader (Galwegians/Connacht); Adam Byrne (UCD/Leinster), Thomas Farrell (Lansdowne/Leinster), Rory Scannell (Dolphin/Munster), Rory Scholes (Belfast Harlequins /Ulster); Steve Crosbie (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster, capt); Peter Dooley (Lansdowne/Leinster), George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons/Exile), Christopher Taylor (Malone/Ulster); Gavin Thornbury (UCD/Leinster), John Donnan (Ballynahinch/Ulster); Daniel Leavy (UCD /Leinster), Josh Van Der Flier (UCD/Leinster), Conor Joyce (Malone/Ulster).

Replacements: Edward Byrne (UCD /Leinster), Bryan Byrne (UCD/Leinster), Adam Boland (Lansdowne/Connacht), Peadar Timmins (UCD/Leinster), Ryan Murphy (Dolphin/Munster), David Shanahan (Clontarf/Leinster), Mark Roche (Lansdowne/Connacht), Darren Sweetnam (UCC/Munster).