Noel McNamara: “The reality is that the gap from the Under 20s, to the Pro14, to the Champions Cup and indeed to senior international honours is getting smaller and smaller.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland Under-20 coach Noel McNamara understands the folly of determining success and failure at age-grade level simply by results. It is not that t(...)

Ireland Under-20 captain Jack Kelly. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Jack Kelly smiles in describing himself as a “human tackle bag” during his time with the Ireland senior squad, not once but twice, last November. On (...)

Jeremy Loughman in action during the Under-20 Six Nations match against England at Donnybrook. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Jeremy Loughman can hardly be considered undersize. At 119 kilograms (18 stone 10lbs), the Ireland Under-20 loosehead prop cuts an imposing figure, ye(...)

Leinster centre Garry Ringrose is one of the talented backs in the Ireland under-20 team to play Italy. Photograph: Inpho.

Under-20 Six Nations Championship Italy Under-20s v Ireland Under-20s Stadio Pozzi Lamamora (Friday, 6.0, Irish time) A five-inch blanke(...)