Under-20s Six Nations: Meet the Ireland team to face Scotland

John O’Sullivan looks at the XV that will start the tournament in Cardiff on Saturday

Ireland will open their Under-20 Six Nations campaign against Scotland at cardiff Arms Park on Saturday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ireland will open their Under-20 Six Nations campaign against Scotland at cardiff Arms Park on Saturday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

15 Jamie Osborne

Age: 19
Height: 6’ 3”
Weight: 96kgs (15st 1lbs)
Club: Naas RFC
School: Naas CBS
Province: Leinster
The underage international made his senior debut for Leinster against the Scarlets in January and went on to make five more appearances. An outstanding prospect, he can play right across the backline.

14 Ben Moxham

Age: 20
Height: 6’ 3”
Weight: 97kgs (15st 3lbs)
Club: Ballymena
School: Larne High School
Province: Ulster
He started in Ireland’s victory over Wales in last season’s Six Nations Championship and followed on by making his Ulster senior debut in the season just gone. Strong and quick he’ll give his team a cutting edge out wide.

13 Shane Jennings

Age: 20
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 96kgs (15st 1lbs)
Club: Buccaneers
School: Garbally College
Province: Connacht
The Ballinasloe native is an excellent all-round sportsman having played minor hurling for Galway and indeed was selected at full back on the 2018 Minor hurling team of the year while also representing Ireland on underage rugby teams.

12 Cathal Forde

Age: 20
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 95kgs (14st 13lbs)
Club: Corinthians
School: Coláiste Iognáid
Province: Connacht
He can also play outhalf and that might see him used as a second distributor, holding off Ulster’s Ben Carson, the latter a more direct player for the position.

11 Josh O’Connor

Age: 20
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 95kg (14st 13lbs)
School: St Peter’s, Wexford
Club: UCD
Province: Leinster
Powerful and quick he learned his rugby in the Wexford Wanderers club and has a handful of underage international caps already as well as winning a medal with the Irish Under-18 Sevens team at a European event.

James Humphreys, son of former Ireland outhalf David, is named at outhalf for the Ireland Under-20 side for the game against Scotland. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
James Humphreys, son of former Ireland outhalf David, is named at outhalf for the Ireland Under-20 side for the game against Scotland. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

10 James Humphreys

Age: 19
Height: 6’
Weight: 80kgs (12st 8lbs)
School: Dean Close School
Club: Queen’s University
Province: Ulster
Cork’s Cian Whooley would have been the favourite for the 10 jersey prior to a recent injury but James, the son of former Ulster and Ireland outhalf David, is a talented footballer and gets the starting role.

9 Conor McKee

Age: 20
Height: 6’
Weight: 87kgs (13st 9lbs)
Club: Queen’s University
School: Sullivan Upper School
Province: Ulster
For the past two years he has battled against Ben Murphy (ruled out of the tournament through injury) and Nathan Doak for the primary scrumhalf role.

1 Temi Asewunmi Lasisi

Age: 20
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 121kgs (19st)
Club: Lansdowne
School: CBS Enniscorthy
Province: Leinster
The Enniscorthy loosehead prop made a big impression on the coaching team in the two warm-up matches against Leinster and Munster Development teams.

2 Ronan Loughnane

Age: 20
Height: 5’ 9”
Weight: 102kgs (16st)
Club: UCD
School: Cistercian College, Roscrea
Province: Leinster
An injury to the outstanding Tom Stewart, who started two of Ireland’s three matches in last season’s Six Nations and a more recent setback for Lee Barron sees Loughnane continue a proud Birr frontrow tradition.

Sam Illo will provide a ball-carrying option from tighthead. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Sam Illo will provide a ball-carrying option from tighthead. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

3 Sam Illo

Age: 20
Height: 6’
Weight: 118kgs (18st 8lbs)
Club: Old Wesley
School: Wesley College
Province: Leinster
He was part of the extended squad for last season’s abbreviated Six Nations and will be an important ball carrying presence for the team.

4 Mark Morrissey

Age: 19
Height: 6’ 4”
Weight: 98kgs (15st 6lbs)
Club: UCD
School: Blackrock College
Province: Leinster
A former Leinster Schools captain, who has played for the provincial A team this season, the former Blackrock pupil is a good athlete but like his secondrow colleague Sheridan lacks the bulk of some of those players he’ll face in this tournament.

Harry Sheridan

Age: 19
Height: 6’ 4”
Weight: 111kgs (17st 6lbs)
Club: Dublin University
School: Sullivan Upper School
Province: Ulster
A black belt in Taekwondo, he was part of the Ulster sub academy last season and the extended Irish 20s squad. His performance at blindside flanker in an A interprovincial win over Leinster in Belfast caught the eye.

6 Alex Soroka

Age: 20
Height: 6’ 4”
Weight: 105kgs (16st 7lbs)
Club: Clontarf
School: Belvedere College
Province: Leinster
The Clontarf forward, who played in a couple of last season’s Six Nations games for the Irish 20s, made his Leinster senior debut against the Glasgow Warriors in the Pro14 and then started against Zebre: a tough, direct, mobile ball carrier.

7 Oisín McCormack

Age: 20
Height: 6’
Weight: 100kg (15st 10lbs)
Club: Buccaneers
School: Garbally College
Province: Connacht
Another who has come up through the ranks of Ireland underage sides and gets the first crack at what will be a keenly contested jersey.

8 Alex Kendellen (capt)

Age: 20
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 105kgs (16st 7lbs)
Club: UCC
School: PBC Cork
Province: Munster
The captain is another excellent prospect who comes with a big reputation. He made his senior Munster debut against the Scarlets in March and was part of the Ireland team that competed in the triangular Sevens tournament with Team GB and the USA in London.

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