Ireland Six Nations under-20s look to end campaign on a high note

Nigel Carolan’s team faces Scotland next after successive defeats to England and Wales

Under-20 Six Nations Championship head coach Nigel Carolan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Under-20 Six Nations Championship head coach Nigel Carolan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

 

Scotland U-20 v Ireland U-20, Netherdale (7.30pm)

Ireland will try and end the Under-20 Six Nations Championship on an upbeat note having suffered the disappointment of successive defeats to England and Wales, scuppering what was an excellent start to the campaign with victories over Italy and France.

They face a Scotland side looking to win all three of their home games in the tournament for the first time since 2009 having already beaten Italy and Wales at Netherdale. The Scots make six changes to the match 23, primarily promoting a number of players from last week’s bench when they lost 26-11 to England.

Ireland Under-20 coach Nigel Carolan admitted: “Against Wales, so much went wrong I guess. Our set piece didn’t fire and outside of that then, we tried to create a bit of tempo but it didn’t happen. I think physically we struggled up front.

“We failed to get a shot off and when you add it all up together, it was a bad day for us. In saying that, we still came a hair’s breath of getting a draw. For us, it’s about restoring some pride back in the side. It’s not to prove anything to anyone other than ourselves. We started very well but it has dwindled and it’s trying to get that back on again.”

The priority is to win this match but the players are well aware that they are playing for places in Ireland’s squad for the Under-20 World Championship in Italy in June. Carolan explained: “Over the five games we will have used the 30 players in our squad.

“From that point of view we have had a look at everyone in some capacity, some off the bench some have started.

“We are a little bit wiser in regard to our knowledge of players than we were when we came in. That’s been positive for us in terms of making changes and finding out about guys.

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