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|