John_s_version_1Nigel Carolan has made one, enforced, change to the Ireland U20’s side for their second Pool A match in the 2016 World Rugby U20 Championship, against New Zealand. The match kicks of on Saturday at 1:30pm and will be live on Sky Sports and TG4. 

Munster’s Ben Betts moves from the bench to the starting line up, slotting in at tight-head, with Leinster’s James Bollard taking his place on the bench. 

Adam McBurney and Jacob Stockdale remain Ulster’s only starters with Johnny McPhillips hoping to get a run out from the bench. The two starting Ulster players did particularly well, both making the World Rugby Match Day 1 Dream Team alongside Andrew Porter,  James Ryan and Max Deegan, giving Ireland by far and away the largest representation. 

Just what this will mean against New Zealand, the current World Champions, is hard to say as the Baby Blacks cruised comfortably past Georgia, scoring nine tries in their 55 – 0 win. 

Such is the reputation of the “Baby Blacks” it did cross my mind that Carolan might field a different side, particularly given the brutal nature of this tournament, but I’m pleased to see that they are going for it with all guns blazing in their effort to be only the second Irish side, at this level, to reach the last four. 

Ireland will need to go into this match fully switched on, they certainly can’t make as bad a start as they did against Wales. I suspect if they are going to get anything out of this game they will need to take a lead into the second half in what will need to be an 80 minute performance.

Forgetting the euphoria of their magnificent comeback against Wales it has to be pointed out that the backs were brutal for the first 30 minutes and a big improvement is needed as the forwards will not be able to carry them for two tough games in five days. However if the backs stay sharp from the off there is a chance of another remarkable upset. 

The FRU Predicts: It’s hard not to get carried away after the match against Wales but I’m going to temper my judgement and predict a narrow win for the All Blacks in a high scoring game. Ireland to pick up two points however from a losing bonus and a try bonus which should be enough for a top four finish! 

Teams

NEW ZEALAND   IRELAND
COLIN JOHNSTONE 1 ANDREW PORTER
LENI APISAI 2 ADAM MCBURNEY
SOSEFO KAUTAI 3 BEN BETTS
QUINTEN STRANGE 4 CILLIAN GALLAGHER
ISAIA WALKER-LEAWERE 5 JAMES RYAN (C)
LUKE JACOBSON 6 GREG JONES
MITCHELL JACOBSON 7 DAVID ASPIL
MARINO MIKAELE TU’U 8 MAX DEEGAN
SAM NOCK 9 STEPHEN KERINS
STEPHEN PEROFETA 10 BILL JOHNSTON
MALO TUITAMA 11 HUGO KEENAN
JORDIE BARRETT 12 CONOR O’BRIEN
PATELESIO TOMKINSON 13 SHANE DALY
SHAUN STEVENSON 14 MATTHEW BYRNE
JORDAN TRAINOR 15 JACOB STOCKDALE
     
ASAFO AUMUA 16 VINCENT O’BRIEN
SEAN PARANIHI 17 JAMES BOLLARD
ALEX FIDOW 18 VAKH ABDALADZE
HAMISH DALZELL 19 SEAN O’CONNOR
DALTON PAPALI’I 20 KELVIN BROWN
JONATHAN TAUMATEINE 21 NIALL SAUNDERS
TENNESSEE VA’A 22 JOHNNY MCPHILLIPS
JONAH LOWE 23 JIMMY O’BRIEN

#SUFTUM