John Foley to make U-20s debut against England

Ireland make two changes as they seek to bounce back after Wales defeat

 Ireland head coach Nigel Carolan. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ireland head coach Nigel Carolan. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Defeat to Wales last weekend may have cost the Ireland Under-20s any chance of the title, but as with their senior counterparts there will be more than just pride at stake at Donnybrook on Friday evening.

England may already be assured of the championship but arrive in Dublin chasing a Grand Slam, an accolade Nigel Carolan’s side are determined to deny them.

The Ireland coach makes two changes to the side that lost in Colwyn Bay, Gavin Mullin back alongside Tommy O’Brien in midfield after an injury enforced absence while John Foley will make his debut in the back row.

“It was disappointing to come back from Wales without the win last weekend, but unfortunately some things just didn’t work out for us on the night,” Carolan said at Thursday’s team announcement.

“The players have dusted themselves down from that game and are now looking forward to Friday night’s fixture. England are coming to town with the title in the bag, but the players really want to finish the campaign on a positive note, so we’re confident that we can put in a big performance in front of a home crowd on St Patrick’s Day.”

Ireland U-20s (v England, Donnybrook, Friday 6pm): Jordan Larmour; Tommy O’Brien, Gavin Mullin, Ciaran Frawley, Calvin Nash (c); Bill Johnston, Jonny Stewart; Joey Conway, Tadgh McElroy, Charlie Connolly; Fineen Wycherley, Oisin Dowling; John Foley, Paul Boyle, Caelan Doris. Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, Greg McGrath, Matthew Burke, Jack Regan, Gavin Coombes, Jack Stafford, Conor Fitzgerald, Colm Hogan.

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