Ulster’s Patrick Jackson has been pulled from the Ireland Squad for the IRB 2012 JWC in South Africa. The talented outhalf, who was to captain the squad in the competition, has been removed from the squad at the request of Ulster Rugby who see Jackson as an integral part of Ulster’s pre-season preperations under the guidance of new coach Mark Anscombe.
Following Jackson’s withdrawal and the unavailability of Kyle McCall due to injury Ulster’s representation in the 28 man squad is now four with only Queens Universities’ Iain Henderson, Dungannon’s Chris Farrell and Peter Nelson and Quins’ Stuart Olding making the trip. However all four have a good chance of making the starting line up for the big matches.
The core of the selected squad featured in the recent Under-20 Six Nations Championship which saw Ireland lose out to England in a Grand Slam decider in March.
Seven of the squad featured in the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship. Flankers Shane Buckley and Aaron Conneely, second row Iain Henderson and prop Tadhg Furlong will add experience up front.
In the back-line, Mike Ruddock can call upon the experience of JJ Hanrahan and scrum half Kieran Marmion who all featured in last year’s tournament.
Ireland Under-20 head coach Ruddock said:
We are coming into the IRB Junior World Championship on the back of a relatively successful Six Nations having won four out of five of our matches.
This gives us some confidence going into the tournament. However, we are in an extremely physical group.
We have hosts South Africa up first, followed by the Six Nations champions England and then the ever improving Italians.
It will require a massive effort on our part to overcome such physical size and power but we intend to give it our best shot.
IRELAND UNDER-20 Squad: Tadhg Beirne (Leinster), Shane Buckley (Munster), Jake Cawley (Leinster), Jordon Coghlan (Leinster), Sam Coghlan Murray (Leinster), Jack Conan (Leinster), Aaron Conneely (Connacht), Barry Daly (Leinster), Chris Farrell (Ulster), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster), Conor Gilsenan (Leinster), JJ Hanrahan (Munster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Foster Horan (Leinster), AN Other, Shane Layden (Connacht), Kieran Marmion (Connacht), Cathal Marsh (Leinster), Luke McGrath (Leinster), Des Merrey (Leinster), Peter Nelson (Ulster), Alan O’Connor (Leinster), Stuart Olding (Ulster), James Rael (Munster), Peter Reilly (Leinster), Niall Scannell (Munster), Mikey Sherlock (Leinster), Josh van der Flier (Leinster).
POOL B FIXTURES: All kick-off times are Ireland/UK
Monday, June 4: England v Italy, 3.45pm (University of Western Cape Stadium, Cape Town)
Monday, June 4: South Africa v Ireland, 5.45pm (Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch)
Friday, June 8: South Africa v Italy, 5.45pm (University of Western Cape Stadium, Cape Town)
Friday, June 8: England v Ireland, 5.45pm (Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch)
Tuesday, June 12: Ireland v Italy, 1.45pm (Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch)
Tuesday, June 12: South Africa v England, 5.45pm (Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch)