Noel McNamara has named the Ireland U20 side for their opening 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship fixture which kicks of on Tuesday 4th June at Club de Rugby, Santa Fe, Argentina at 19:30 UK/IRE.
The match should be streamed live here for those of us in the UK and will also be shown on EIR Sports.
The squad features all five Ulster players with Azur Allison (Ballymena), David McCann (Banbridge), Iwan Hughes (Ballynahinch), Angus Kernohan (Queen’s University) and Stewart Moore (Malone) all starting. Allison, Hughes and Moore all picking up their first cap.
It’s a case of getting stuck in early for Ireland.
Ireland U20, who completed their first ever Six Nations Grand Slam in March, will need to hit the ground running if they are to progress to the top four.
They are in a difficult group in Pool B, alongside Australia, England and Italy. England, in particular, will be looking for revenge following their Six Nations defeat.
In that instance an arrogant England side somewhat blew it down in Cork and Ireland took full advantage, but I’d guess that the English team will feel confident about taking on Ireland up front.
Ireland will need to play with the same attitude that they displayed during the Six Nations where they harassed and chided their opponents out of contention. One word of warning though, while I’ve no doubt that Ireland will have no problem getting up for this match against England they will find it harder and harder to maintain their all action game as this tournament progresses.
However, McNamara looks as though he is going to make full use of his squad throughout the tournament, which is what he needs to do, and if Ireland can get a first up win their momentum might just carry them through to a top four finish.
I’m looking forward to this – roll on tomorrow evening!
Ireland U20 to face England U20.
Tuesday 4th June. KO 19:30 UK/IRE
15. Iwan Hughes (Ballynahinch/Ulster) *
14. Angus Kernohan (Queen’s University/Ulster)
13. Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster)
12. Stewart Moore (Malone/Ulster) *
11. Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution/Munster)
10. Jake Flannery (Shannon/Munster)
9. Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster)
1. Josh Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster)
2. Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians/Connacht)
3. Tom Clarkson (Dublin University/Leinster)
4. Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster) (C)
5. Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)
6. David McCann (Banbridge/Ulster)
7. John Hodnett (UCC/Munster)
8. Azur Allison (Ballymena/Ulster) *
Michael Milne (UCD/Leinster)
Declan Adamson (Clontarf/Leinster) *
John McKee (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Charlie Ward (Clontarf/Leinster) *
Thomas Ahern (Shannon/Munster) *
Niall Murray (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Ronan Watters (St.Mary’s College/Leinster)
Ciaran Booth (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby) *
Colm Reilly (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Cormac Foley (St.Mary’s College/Leinster)
Ben Healy (Garryowen/Munster)
Sean French (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Rob Russell (Dublin University/Leinster)