Ireland and Wales have named their sides for Friday evening’s U20 Six Nations clash at Irish Independent Park, kicking off at 7.15pm, live on BBC 2 Wales.
Ireland Head Coach Noel McNamara has made just two changes to the sides that beat Scotland 38-26 in their opener last weekend, Ulster’s Ben Moxham comes in on the right wing for the injured Ethan McIlroy, while Leinster’s Marcus Hanan comes in at loosehead prop. David McCann is again skippering the side from the back row.
Three exciting young English schooled players are again selected in the backline, Cranleigh old boy Hayden Hyde and the former Kirkham Grammar star Dan Kelly are once more partnered in the centres, with former Millfield man Oran McNulty at full back.
Speaking to www.irishrugby.ie ahead of the game, McNamara said:
“We got things started on a positive note last Friday in Cork and now that we are up and running in the Championship, we are looking forward to improving upon that performance.”
“This Friday night presents a new challenge against Wales. The players have worked hard during the week with the emphasis very much on ourselves and building towards this week’s game. We are excited about getting out and performing in front of our supportive and enthusiastic home crowd at Irish Independent Park.”
Gareth Williams has meanwhile made three changes to his Wales side that went down 17-7 at home to Italy last time out, one of the most exciting of which is the selection of Bristol Bears’ rapidly rising star Ioan Lloyd at full back, the former Clifton College man coming in for Josh Thomas, who drops down to the bench.
Meanwhile Dragons’ Will Griffiths replaces Dom Booth at hooker, with Booth moving to the bench, with Eastbourne College’s Theo Bevacqua the third change, he comes in at loosehead for Callum Williams, who is now on the bench.
Bevacqua is still at Eastbourne College, and is joined in the starting fifteen by another current star of English schools rugby, Millfield’s Dan John, who again is one the right wing.
There are plenty of other Exiles in the squad too, former Oakham fly half Sam Costelow starts again, with Marlborough College old boy Archie Griffin, ex Hampton flanker Gwilym Bradley, and former Bryanstone scrum half Ellis Bevan all on the bench.
Speaking to www.wru.wales on the game, Williams said:
“Naturally we are disappointed with the result and elements of our performance against Italy, but this week is about dealing with that and moving forward, we still have four internationals left that act as great opportunities to move players forward in their development. Ireland will be a big challenge, and the atmosphere will be electric. These are the type of environments we want to expose our young players to.”
“There are some areas we have worked hard to tighten up on this week, and challenged ourselves to execute better to keep Ireland under pressure which was something we didn’t do to Italy, although I thought Italy were excellent in their performance. We have a clear understanding of our responsibility for development, and defeats like last week can act as effective learning experiences. But we’re a competitive and proud group, and want to get back to success against opposition we have the utmost respect for.”
Teams: Ireland U20 v Wales U20 – Friday, 7.15pm, Irish Independent Park (Live on BBC 2 Wales)
15 Oran McNulty (Millfield/Galway Corinthians/Connacht), 14 Ben Moxham (Larne HS/Ballymena/Ulster), 13 Dan Kelly (Kirkham GS/Loughborough Uni/IQ Rugby), 12 Hayden Hyde (Cranleigh/Ballynahinch/Ulster), 11 Andrew Smith (St Michael’s College/Clontarf/Leinster), 10 Jack Crowley (Bandon/Cork Constitution/Munster), 9 Lewis Finlay (Down HS/Malone/Ulster), 1 Marcus Hanan (Clane/Old Belvedere/Leinster), 2 Tom Stewart (Belfast Royal Academy/Ballynahinch/Ulster), 3 Thomas Clarkson (Blackrock College/Dublin University/Leinster), 4 Thomas Ahern (Waterpark/Shannon/Munster), 5 Brian Deeny (Wexford Wanderers/Clontarf/Leinster), 6 Sean O’Brien (Blackrock College/UCD/Leinster), 7 Mark Hernan (St Michael’s College/Lansdowne/Leinster), 8 David McCann (RBAI/Banbridge/Ulster, captain).
Replacements: 16 John McKee (Campbell College/Old Belvedere/Leinster), 17 Harry Noonan (Greystones/Old Wesley/Leinster), 18 Charlie Ward (Tullow/Clontarf/Leinster), 19 Joe McCarthy (Blackrock College/Dublin University/Leinster), 20 Cian Prendergast (Newbridge College/UCD/Leinster), 21 Ben Murphy (Presentation College Bray/Clontarf/Leinster), 22 Tim Corkery (Kilkenny/Lansdowne/Leinster), 23 Luis Faria (Newpark/Dublin University/Leinster).
15 Ioan Lloyd (Bristol Bears), 14 Dan John (Millfield), 13 Osian Knott (Scarlets), 12 Aneurin Owen (Dragons), 11 Ewan Rosser (Dragons), 10 Sam Costelow (Leicester Tigers), 9 Dafydd Buckland (Dragons), 1 Theo Bevacqua (Eastbourne College), 2 Will Griffiths (Dragons), 3 Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues), 4 Jac Price (Scarlets), 5 Ben Carter (Dragons), 6 Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues), 7 Jac Morgan (Scarlets, captain), 8 Morgan Strong (Ospreys).
Replacements: 16 Dom Booth (Scarlets), 17 Callum Williams (Scarlets), 18 Archie Griffin (Bath), 19 James Fender (Ospreys), 20 Gwilym Bradley (Cardiff Blues), 21 Ellis Bevan (Cardiff Met Uni), 22 Bradley Roderick (Ospreys), 23 Josh Thomas (Ospreys).