Nigel Carolan names Ireland U20 side for opener against Wales
Lansdowne’s James Ryan to captain new-look side
Lansdowne secondrow James Ryan will captain Ireland under-20 in their opening Six Nations game agaainst Wales at Donnybrook on Friday night. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
The entire frontrow of Andrew Porter, Adam McBurney and Conan O’Donnell all have experience of this level while a fourth, wing Jacob Stockdale, will play for Ulster in their Guinness Pro 12 re-fixed match against the Dragons on Friday night, before linking up with the age-grade national team.
Lansdowne’s James Ryan leads a team that will be hoping to avenge two defeats to Wales last season, in the Six Nations and then again at the World Cup. Carolan has decided to name Connacht secondrow Cillian Gallagher at flanker in anticipation of a robust physical challenge from the visitors.
The Irish coach explained: “We’ve been training well and the players are integrating nicely. While the majority of the lads taking to the field on Friday will not have played at international level before, they have got good experience at provincial level and this has shown in their preparation over the last number of weeks and they’re all looking forward to getting out there.”
IRELAND UNDER-20: J Power (UCD/Leinster); M Byrne (Terenure/Leinster), S Daly (Cork Con/Munster), J O’Brien (UCD/Leinster), H Keen (UCD/(Leinster); J McPhillips (QUB/Ulster), J Poland (Cork Con/Munster); A Porter (UCD/Leinster), A McBurney (Ballymena/Ulster), C O’Donnell (Sligo/Connacht); P Claffey (Galwegians/Connacht), J Ryan (Lansdowne/UCD, capt); C Gallagher (Sligo/Connacht), W Connors (UCD/Leinster), M Deegan (Lansdowne/Leinster).
Replacements: S Fenton (Young Munster/Munster), J Bollard (Dublin University/Leinster), C Kenny (Buccaneers/Connacht), S O’Connor (Cashel/Munster), K Brown (Shannon/Munster), S Kerins (Sligo/Connacht), B Connon (Newcastle Falcons), C O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster).