Ruddock makes 11 changes for Fiji match
Ireland Under-20 hoping to build on their victory over Australia in France
Ireland’s Conor Joyce in action against Australia. Photograph: Gwenael Mahe/Inpho
Ireland Under-20 coach Mike Ruddock has made 11 changes from the team that beat Australia 19-15 for Sunday’s second pool match in the IRB Junior World Championships against Fiji at Stade de la Rabine (17.45, live on TG4).
Darragh Leader has been named at fullback with former Cork hurler Darren Sweetnam introduced on the right wing. Mark Roche joins Tom Daly in the centre while David Shanahan has been named at scrum half with Luke McGrath on the bench.
Up front, twins Edward and Bryan Byrne make their first start of the tournament along with Christopher Taylor in a new look frontrow while Gavin Thornbury and Sean McCarthy make up the secondrow pairing. Daniel Leavy and Jack O’Donoghue join Ulster’s Conor Joyce, who will captain the side, in the backrow.
Speaking ahead of the clash, Ruddock said: “We want to build on a big win against Australia with a top performance against Fiji. We have freshened the side up quite a bit, the heat and physicality of the Australian game combined with a four day turnaround means we have to use all our resources to raise our performance.”
Ireland’s final pool match is against New Zealand, last year’s beaten finalists, takes place next Thursday.
Ireland U-20: Darragh Leader (Galwegians/Connacht); Darren Sweetnam (UCC/Munster), Mark Roche (Lansdowne/Connacht), Tom Daly (Lansdowne/Leinster), Rory Scholes (Belfast Harlequins /Ulster); Steve Crosbie (Old Belvedere/Leinster), David Shanahan (Clontarf/Leinster); Edward Byrne (UCD /Leinster), Bryan Byrne (UCD/Leinster), Christopher Taylor (Malone/Ulster); Gavin Thornbury (UCD/Leinster), Sean McCarthy (Shannon/Munster), Conor Joyce (Malone/Ulster, capt), Daniel Leavy (UCD /Leinster), Jack O’Donoghue (UL Bohemians/Munster). Replacements: George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons/Exile), Peter Dooley (Lansdowne/Leinster), Ryan Furniss (Worcester/Exile), John Donnan (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Josh Van Der Flier (UCD/Leinster), Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster), Rory Scannell (Dolphin/Munster), David Panter (Corinthians/Connacht).