The Ireland Under-20 team has been named for their first game of the 2013 IRB Junior World Championship against Australia in Vannes on Wednesday (kick-off 6.45pm local time/5.45pm Irish time).
It looks like we were a touch early announcing the squad as there are now only four Ulster men involved with three, Rory Scholes, John Donnan and Connor Joyce, making the starting XV for the opening game against Australia, with Chris Taylor sitting this one out. We’ll try to find the reason for the changes to the original squad but it looks like what promises to be a difficult campaign for the Irish youngsters has got that bit harder!
The team was always going to miss the likes of Ulster’s Stuart Olding and Connacht’s Robbie Henshaw , both will be touring North America with the Ireland team, and these late changes to the squad come as a further hurdle.
However the team demonstrated during the recent Six Nations that they can compete with the bigger, more physical, teams when they defeated England, but given the nature of this tournament they may only have one chance to cause an upset and this first up game against Australia may be it. The competition is so demanding it is hard to see the Irish having the strength in depth to be competitive later in the tournament.
Scrum half Luke McGrath will captain the Ireland Under-20 side for their opening Pool B fixture against their Australian counterparts.
McGrath is just one of two players who have previous experience of playing in the Junior World Championship. The other, Josh van der Flier, has been named in the back row.
Four players who were not involved in the Under-20 Six Nations earlier this year have earned places in the matchday squad – Leinster-capped winger Adam Byrne, centre Thomas Farrell and replacement forwards Edward Byrne and Daniel Leavy.
The versatile Rory Scannell, who played at centre and out-half during the Six Nations, moves to full-back with Farrell linking up in the centre with his Lansdowne club-mate Thomas Daly who scored 35 points in four Six Nations outings.
Provincial colleagues McGrath and Steve Crosbie continue their half-back partnership with Connacht youngster Adam Boland making his first start for the Ireland U-20s at tighthead prop.
Peadar Timmins, who started the season at blindside flanker, teams up with Ballynahinch clubman John Donnan in the second row, while Conor Joyce, Josh van der Flier and Ryan Murphy combine in the back row after starting together against France and Italy in March.
Mike Ruddock’s charges share Pool B with Australia, Fiji and New Zealand. Ireland’s pool matches will be broadcast live on TG4 along with the semi-finals and final games of the tournament in France.
IRELAND U20: To face Australia
15 – Rory Scannell (Dolphin/Munster)
14 – Adam Byrne (UCD/Leinster)
13 – Thomas Farrell (Lansdowne/Leinster)
12 – Thomas Daly (Lansdowne/Leinster)
11 – Rory Scholes (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
10 – Steve Crosbie (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
9 – Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
1 – Peter Dooley (Lansdowne/Leinster)
2 – George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons/Exile)
3 – Adam Boland (Lansdowne/Connacht)
4 – Peadar Timmins (UCD/Leinster)
5 – John Donnan (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
6 – Conor Joyce (Malone/Ulster)
7 – Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster)
8 – Ryan Murphy (Dolphin/Munster)
16 – Bryan Byrne (UCD/Leinster)
17 – Edward Byrne (UCD/Leinster)
18 – Ryan Furniss (Worcester Warriors/Exile)
19 – Sean McCarthy (Shannon/Munster)
20 – Daniel Leavy (UCD/Leinster)
21 – David Shanahan (Clontarf/Leinster)
22 – Mark Roche (Lansdowne/Connacht)
23 – Darragh Leader (Galwegians/Connacht)
Ireland Pool Fixtures.
|Wednesday 5th June||17:45||Ireland||v||Australia|
|Sunday 9th June||17:45||Ireland||v||Fiji|
|Thursday 13th June||17:45||New Zealand||v||Ireland|
On completion of the pool fixtures teams are placed in semi final and final play-offs for ranking points.
|Full Name||DOB (AGE)||CM||KG||CLUB||Position|
|Ryan Furniss||17/02/1993(20)||179||107||Worcester Warriors||Prop|
|George McGuigan||30/03/1993(20)||184||106||Newcastle Falcons||Hooker|
|Josh Van Der Flier||25/04/1993(20)||186||98||Leinster||Flanker|
|Full Name||DOB (AGE)||Position|
|Mike Ruddock||05/09/1959(53)||Head Coach|
|Hendrik Kruger||18/01/1963(50)||Team Manager|
|Greig Oliver||12/09/1964(48)||Assistant Coach|
|Paudie Roche||12/10/1980(32)||Fitness Coach|
|John Philpott||30/10/1973(39)||Team Doctor|
|Regina Flanagan||03/01/1970(43)||Massage Therapist|
|Laurence Hogan||10/12/1965(47)||Baggage Master|
|Vinny Hammond||13/03/1985(28)||Performance Analyst|