The Irish Under 20’s have largely been a delight this season playing a refreshingly adventurous style of rugby.
Sure they have lost two out of three games, largely through self inflicted errors, but the losses have been for the right reasons and it was particularly pleasing that it all came together in their impressive second half comeback against England a fortnight ago.
Coach Nigel Carolan has admirably stuck to his guns and whoever he’s had to slot in, through injury or availability issues, have all bought in to the same attacking style.
In tonight’s team Brett Connon make his U20’s debut at full back, Connor O’Brien is moved to the centre, making way for Ulster’s Jacob Stockdale to start on the wing for the first time this season, and John Polland has reclaimed the scrum half berth after an injury to Stephen Kerins.
Niall Saunders takes Polland’s spot on the bench where he joins Hugo Keane and Paul Kiernan who are included in the squad for the first time this season. Max Deegan and Terry Kennedy return to the squad after injuries picked up against France.
Looking forward to this one tonight (Kick off 7:35pm live on RTÉ Two/www.rte.ie/live (island of Ireland only)) and I’ll be keeping a watchful eye on Ulster youngsters Johnny McPhillips, Adam McBurney and Stokdale. I’ll be particularly interested to see how Stockdale performs in this risk taking back line. 🙂
|Brett Connon||15||Matteo Minozzi|
|Hugo Keenan||14||Pierre Bruno|
|Shane Daly||13||Roberto dal Zilio|
|Conor O’Brien||12||Marco Zanon|
|Jacob Stockdale||11||Luca Spernandio|
|Johnny McPhilips||10||Leonardo Mantelli|
|John Polland||9||Vinceno Trussardi|
|Andrew Porter||1||Daniele Rimpelli|
|Adam McBurney||2||Marco Manfredi|
|Conán O’Donnell||3||Marco Riccioni|
|Peter Claffey||4||Leonard Krumov|
|James Ryan||5||Samuele Ortis|
|Cillian Gallagher||6||Giovanni Pettinelli|
|Will Connors||7||Davide Ciotoli|
|Greg Jones||8||Gabriele Venditti|
|Hugo Kean||16||Nicolo Broglia|
|James Bollard||17||Giovanni Amendola|
|Ben Betts||18||Giosue Zilocchi|
|Sean O’Connor||19||Lorenzo Robin Masselli|
|Max Deegan||20||Michael de Marco|
|Niall Saunders||21||Giovanni Lucchin|
|Paul Kiernan||22||Marcello Angelini|
|Terry Kennedy||23||Lorenzo Masato|