Ireland have named their side for their opening U20 Six Nations fixture against England, kicking off at 7.15pm at Irish Independent Park in Cork.
The game will be live on RTE in Ireland but unfortunately is not available elsewhere, though highlights will be available afterwards.
Head Coach Noel McNamara has selected Leinster centre David Hawkshaw as his captain, and he is selected alongside his clubmate Liam Turner in the midfield, with fellow Leinsterman Harry Byrne at fly half. Munster’s Craig Casey is at scrum half.
The back three is an all Munster affair with Jake Flannery at full back and Conor Phillips and Jonathan Wren on the wings.
Up front Leinster’s Martin Moloney and Scott Penny are the two flankers, with Munster’s John Hodnett at number 8. Connacht’s Niall Murray packs down alongside Leinster’s Charlie Ryan in the second row, while in the front row Munster’s Josh Wycherley is at loosehead, with Connacht’s Dylan Tierney-Martin at hooker and Thomas Clarkson of Leinster at tighthead.
Meanwhile covering the front row on the bench are the Leinster pair of John McKee and Michael Milne, alongside Connacht’s Ryan Lomas. Leinster’s Brian Deeny covers the second row, with David McCann the sole Ulsterman in the squad, he covers the back row. The backs are covered by three Munstermen, Cormac Foley, Sean French, and Rob Russell.
Speaking to Irish Rugby ahead of the game, McNamara said: “The players have prepared very well since we first came together before Christmas. We had a good camp last week in Cork and are looking forward to the challenge that England will bring this Friday night.”
“We have a very talented group of players in the squad, and there were a number of tight calls on selection for this game. There is a lot of rugby to be played over the coming weeks and months, so the competitiveness in the squad is a real positive and bodes well for the season ahead.”
“Everyone involved is excited to be heading to Irish Independent Park for this opening fixture. It’s a great venue, with a nice fast pitch and we’re looking forward to getting the campaign underway in front of an energetic and lively crowd in Cork.”
Ireland U20 XV v England – Irish Independent Park, Friday, 7.15pm
15 Jake Flannery (Shannon/Munster), 14 Conor Phillips (Young Munster/Munster), 13 Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster), 12 David Hawkshaw (Clontarf /Leinster, captain), 11 Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution/Munster), 10 Harry Byrne (Lansdowne/Leinster), 9 Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster), 1 Josh Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster), 2 Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians/Connacht), 3 Thomas Clarkson (Dublin University/Leinster), 4 Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster), 5 Niall Murray (Buccaneers/Connacht), 6 Martin Moloney (Old Belvedere/Leinster), 7 Scott Penny (UCD/Leinster), 8 John Hodnett (UCC/Munster).
Replacements: 16 John McKee (Old Belvedere/Leinster), 17 Michael Milne (UCD/Leinster), 18 Ryan Lomas (Galwegians/Connacht), 19 Brian Deeny (Clontarf/Leinster), 20 David McCann (Banbridge/Ulster), 21 Cormac Foley (St.Mary’s College/Munster), 22 Sean French (Cork Constitution/Munster), 23 Rob Russell (Dublin University/Munster).