The teams were announced yesterday for the Italy U20 v Ireland U20 RBS Six Nations match which takes place Friday night at Stadio Enrico Chersoni in Prato. Kick off 6:00pm UK/IRE time. Haven’t found any live coverage yet but keep an eye on our Facebook feed nearer the time. 

The bad news is that two of the Ulster players involved last week have dropped out; Peter Cooper, due to injury, and Marcus Rea loses his spot on the bench as coach Nigel Carolin looks at his options. 

Johnny McPhillips and Jonny Stewart remain as halfbacks, which is no surprise, as both featured strongly in last weeks disappointing run out against Scotland. They did chalk up a win, thanks largely to McPhillips, but Carolin will have been disappointed as he expects high standards from his charges. 

The highly rated Calvin Nash comes into the team, after injury, but there is still no sign of Ulster’s highly rated Robert Lyttle. 

The good news of Nash’s return is somewhat dampened by the loss of last week’s captain Jack Kelly, who limped off midway through the Scottish game. The experienced Cillian Gallagher takes over the armband, which is probably no bad thing in what’s sure to be a physical encounter with the Italians. 

Italy will present a tough physical challenge up front, probably the most physical in this group outside of England, so Ireland can expect a fairly torrid opening quarter. Don’t be surprised if Ireland go behind early on but they should make more inroads as the game progresses. 

The FRU Predicts. At this level McPhillips is Ireland’s trump card as they look to move the physical Italians around the pitch. Should be enough for Ireland to get the win but they need to be pushing for a bonus point as well. 

ITALY U20   IRELAND U20
Massimo Cioffi 15 Colm Hogan
Andrea Bronzini 14 Jordan Larmour
Ludovico Vaccari 13 Gavin Mullin
Marco Zanon 12 Ciaran Frawley
Dario Schiabel 11 Calvin Nash
Antonio Rizzi 10 Johnny McPhillips
Charly Trussardi 9 Jonny Stewart
Daniel Rimpelli 1 Joey Conway
Massimo Ceciliani 2 Tadgh McElroy
Mark Riccioni 3 Charlie Connolly
Jordan Baldino 4 Fineen Wycherley
Gabriele Venditti 5 Oisin Dowling
Jacopo White 6 Cillian Gallagher
Lorenzo Blocks 7 Paul Boyle
Giovanni Licata 8 Caelan Doris
     
Alberto Rollero 16 Adam Moloney
Danilo Fischetti 17 Rory Mulvihill
Joshua Zilocchi 18 Matthew Burke
Edward Iachizzi 19 Jack Regan
Nardo Casolari 20 Gavin Coombes
Emilio Fusco 21 Jack Lyons
Michelangelo Biondelli 22 Conor Fitzgerald
Roberto Dal Zilio 23 Tommy O’Brien

#SUFTUM