The Ireland U20 squad has been named for the 2018 World Rugby U20 Championship to be held in France.

The squad features seven Ulster players with Aaron Hall (Ballynahinch), James Hume (Banbridge), Joe Dunleavy (Malone), Jonny Stewart (QUB), Matthew Agnew (Ballymena RFC), Matthew Dalton (Malone) and Tom O’Toole (Banbridge) all making the cut.

Unfortunately Angus Curtis (QUB) misses out due to concussion.  Angus Kernohan (Ballymena) and Mark Keane (QUB), who were both involved during the Six Nations, haven’t made the cut. However, with the U20’s Championship being such an abrasive competition there is every chance that they may still play a part.

It will be a hugely challenging tournament for this Ireland side who have been drawn in Pool C alongside, hosts, France, South Africa and Georgia. All three teams will offer Ireland a physical battle and this is an area where Ireland struggled in the Six Nations, particularly against England and France. They did show the ability to run the ball and scored an average of four tries per game but the absence of playmaker Curtis will be a big loss in this regard.

Since (and during) the Six Nations the likes of Dunleavy, Stewart, Dalton and O’Toole have got some senior games under thier belt and this will obviously help, as will the return from injury of the nine times capped Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College) who will captain the team from the back row.

Four uncapped players have also been selected with Dan Hurley (Garryowen FC), Dan Sheehan (Dublin University), Joe Byrne (Dublin University) and Tom Roche (Lansdowne) added to the players used in the Six Nations. This will bring the total players used this season to 37 should they pick up a cap in France.

Ireland U20 Squad (World Rugby U20 Championship 2018)

Forwards
Matthew Agnew (Ballymena RFC/Ulster)
Jack Aungier (St. Mary’s College RFC/Leinster)
Diarmuid Barron (Garryowen FC/Munster)
Joe Byrne (Dublin University/Leinster) *
Matthew Dalton (Malone RFC/Ulster)
Cormac Daly (Clontarf FC/Leinster)
Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College RFC/Leinster) Captain
Jordan Duggan (Naas RFC/Leinster)
Jack Dunne (Dublin University FC/Leinster)
Joe Dunleavy (Malone RFC/Ulster)
James French (UCC/Munster)
Aaron Hall (Ballynahinch RFC/Ulster)
Tom O’Toole (Banbridge RFC/Ulster)
Jack O’Sullivan (UCC RFC/Munster)
Charlie Ryan (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Dan Sheehan (Dublin University FC/Leinster) *

Backs
Harry Byrne (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Conor Dean (St. Mary’s College RFC/Leinster)
Dan Hurley (Garryowen FC/Munster) *
James Hume (Banbridge RFC/Ulster)
Sean O’Brien (Clontarf FC/Leinster)
Hugh O’Sullivan (Clontarf FC/Leinster)
Tom Roche (Lansdowne FC/Leinster) *
Michael Silvester (Dublin University FC/Leinster)
Jonny Stewart (QUB RFC/Ulster)
Peter Sylvester (UCC RFC / Munster)
Tommy O’Brien (UCD RFC/Leinster)
James McCarthy (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
*Denotes uncapped at this level

Unavailable due to injury
Eoghan Clarke
Angus Curtis
Ronan Kelleher
Sean Masterson
Peter Sullivan

Ireland U20 World Rugby U20 Championships Fixtures – Pool C

France v Ireland
Stade Aime-Giral, Perpignan
Wednesday 30th May, 2018
KO: 21:00 (local) / 20:00 (UK/Ire)

South Africa v Ireland
Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l’Amitie, Narbonne
Sunday 3rd June, 2018
KO: 16:30 (local) / 15:30 (UK/Ire)

Ireland v Georgia
Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l’Amitie, Narbonne
Thursday 7th June, 2018
KO: 18:30 (local) / 17:30 (UK/Ire)

Semi-Finals
Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l’Amitie, Narbonne OR Stade Aime-Giral, Perpignan
Tuesday 12th June 2018

Finals Day
Stade De La Mediterranee in Béziers.
Sunday 17th June 2018

#SUFTUM