We have an indepth look at the two teams ahead of this afternoon’s 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship 5th Place semi final match. Kick off is at 15:30 in Argentina, 19:30 in UK/IRE.

The match should be streamed live for those of us in the UK and will also be shown on EIR Sports.

Why is this match important?

Both teams will have gone into this competition with aspirations of a top four finish so you could argue that there will be a sense of disappointment in both camps with a 5th place play off. However, both teams still have plenty to play for. 

Ireland will want to finish in the top six, at least, so they don’t devalue a Six Nations Grand Slam winning season and England will desperately want to rejuvenate a disappointing season, spoiled by indiscipline, and will feel they can push on in this competition  following their defeat of Australia. 

Of course, it’s also Ireland v England and both teams should have no problem getting up for this one. 

Whoever wins this game is guaranteed a top six finish in the 5th place final against the winners of the other semi final between New Zealand and Wales. 

What happened last time they met?

Ireland have a 2 – 0 advantage over England this season winning their Six Nations meeting 35 – 27 in Cork and, of course, Ireland won their opening pool match in this competition 42 – 26 on 4th June. 

Ireland will be looking to record an unprecedented third straight victory over their English opponents who will be equally determined to make sure that doesn’t happen! 

Will that match have any effect on this one?

A lot changes over a couple of rounds in this intense competition. 

Ireland field only six players in their starting positions from the first round meeting in Dylan Tierney-Martin, Charlie Ryan, Azur Allison, Craig Casey, Jonathan Wren and Liam Turner. 

England are able to field nine starters from that game in Joe Hayes, Joel Kpoku, Alex Coates, Aaron Hinkley, Manu Vunipola, Cameron Redpath, Fraser Dingwall, Ollie Sleightholme and Tom De Granville. 

Ireland have called in seven replacement players, with three in the starting line up  in their squad of 27 whereas England have only called in two replacements with one appearing in their starting line up in an overall squad of 25. 

It’s difficult to say how much effect their earlier meeting will have in terms of player performance, however England will have a much better chance of a win if they can improve their on field discipline. 

The two squads for this afternoon’s game are shown below. 

1 Michael Milne UCD 1 Kai Owen Worcester Warriors
2 Dylan Tierney-Martin Corinthians 2 Will Capon Bristol Bears
3 Charlie Ward Clontarf 3 Joe Heyes Leicester Tigers
4 Charlie Ryan UCD 4 Joel Kpoku Saracens
5 Thomas Ahern Shannon 5 Alex Coles Northampton Saints
6 Ryan Baird Trinity College 6 Richard Capstick Exeter Chiefs
7 Ronan Watters St Mary’s College 7 Aaron Hinkley Gloucester Rugby
8 Azur Allison Ballymena 8 Ted Hill Worcester Warriors
9 Craig Casey Shannon 9 Sam Maunder Exeter Chiefs
10 Ben Healy Garryowen 10 Manu Vunipola Saracens
11 Jonathan Wren Cork Constitution 11 Josh Hodge Newcastle Falcons
12 David Ryan University College Dublin 12 Cameron Redpath Sale Sharks
13 Liam Turner Dublin University 13 Fraser Dingwall Northampton Saints
14 Aaron O’Sullivan UCD 14 Ollie Sleightholme Northampton Saints
15 Jake Flannery Cork Constitution 15 Tom De Glanville Bath Rugby
16 Declan Adamson Clontarf 16 Nic Dolly Sale Sharks
17 Josh Wycherley Young Munster 17 Olly Adkins Gloucester Rugby
18 Thomas Clarkson Dublin University 18 James Kenny Exeter Chiefs
19 John McKee Old Belvedere 19 Tom Willis Wasps
20 Brian Deeny Clontarf 20 Rusiate Tuima Exeter Chiefs
21 Niall Murray Connacht 21 Ollie Fox Bath Rugby
22 Luke Clohessy Shannon 22 Connor Doherty Sale Sharks
  23 Tom Seabrook Gloucester Rugby
24 Rob Russell Dublin University 24 Luke James Sale Sharks
25 Colm Reilly Buccaneers 25 Ollie Hassell-Collins London Irish
26 Cormac Foley St Mary’s College  
27 Angus Kernohan QUB  
28 Max O’Reilly Dublin University  


What are the Irish Players Stats?

The stats for the Irish Players in this competition to date are shown below. 

15 Jake Flannery Shannon Munster 3 236 1 14
14 Aaron O’Sullivan** UCD Leinster 0 0 0 0
13 Liam Turner Dublin University Leinster 3 240 0 0
12 David Ryan** UCD Leinster 1 4 0 0
11 Jonathan Wren Cork Constitution Munster 3 192 0 0
10 Ben Healy Garryowen Munster 3 135 1 28
9 Craig Casey Shannon Munster 2 140 1 5
1 Michael Milne UCD Leinster 3 117 1 5
2 Dylan Tierney-Martin Corinthians Connacht 3 162 0 0
3 Charlie Ward** Clontarf Leinster 1 2 0 0
4 Charlie Ryan UCD Leinster 3 208 0 0
5 Thomas Ahern Shannon Munster 1 32 0 0
6 Ryan Baird Dublin University Leinster 3 174 1 5
7 Ronan Watters St Mary’s College Leinster 2 74 0 0
8 Azur Allison Ballymena Ulster 2 104 1 5
16 Declan Adamson** Clontarf Leinster 2 15 0 0
17 Josh Wycherley Young Munster Munster 3 167 0 0
18 Tom Clarkson Dublin University Leinster 3 194 0 0
19 John McKee Old Belvedere Leinster 2 71 0 0
20 Brian Deeny** Clontarf Leinester 0 0 0 0
21 Niall Murray Buccaneers Connacht 3 92 0 0
22 Luke Clohessy** Shannon Munster 1 21 0 0
24 Rob Russell Dublin University Leinster 2 136 1 5
25 Colm Reilly Buccaneers Connacht 2 100 0 0
26 Cormac Foley St Mary’s College Leinster 2 92 1 5
27 Angus Kernohan Queen’s University Ulster 3 200 0 0
28 Max O’Reilly** Dublin University Leinster 1 4 0 0


Where are the key areas?

This game is going to be as much a psychological battle as a physical one and Ireland have had England’s number in this regard over the last two games with England’s indiscipline turning both matches decisively in Ireland’s favour. 

Thee big question is whether England will try and outplay their opponents or try to dominate them physically by fair means or foul? Unfortunately, for the English, the latter has been their preference, very much to their detriment, and this Ireland team seem to prefer soaking up the pressure then attacking with almost laser like precision, seldom coming away from the red zone without points in the bag. 

Who is going to win?

I had an uneasy feeling about the game against the Italians and Ireland came through that one with comparative ease, so I shouldn’t be that worried about saying that I also have an uneasy feeling about this one. 

If England concentrate on playing rugby for the 80 minutes I’d say that England have the edge.

However, if Ireland can knock them off thier stride, which is something they have done to all their opponents in all the games, apart from the last 20 minutes against Australia, then Ireland should win.