Ireland have named their side for their clash with Scotland in the first round of the U20 Six Nations at Irish Independent Park in Cork on Friday night (KO 7.15 pm).
Noel McNamara’s side will be looking to get their campaign off to the best possible start as they look to defend their title after Ireland secured the Grand Slam in 2019.
Five players who featured in 2019 return to the starting lineup for this weekend’s match as captain David McCann, Charlie Ward, Thomas Clarkson, Thomas Ahern and Brian Deeny start.
Ward and Clarkson are joined by Ulster’s Tom Stewart in the front-row while Deeny and Ahern pack down in the second-row.
In the back-row, McCann captains the side from number eight where he is joined by Sean O’Brien and Mark Hernan at blindside and openside respectively.
Cork Constitution’s Jack Crowley starts at out-half where he is joined in the half-backs by scrum-half Lewis Finlay. Hayden Hyde and Dan Kelly make up the centre partnership while Andrew Smith, Ethan McIlroy and Oran McNulty make up the back-three.
“The players have prepared very well since we first came together before Christmas,” McNamara said.
“We had an excellent camp last week in Cork and are looking forward to the challenge that Scotland will bring this Friday night.
“Getting back down to Irish Independent Park is exciting for all involved. It’s a fantastic venue, a really fast surface and we’re ready to get the campaign underway in front of a partisan home crowd.”
Ireland Under-20 Team (v Scotland):
15. Oran McNulty (Millfield School / Corinthians RFC / Connacht)
14. Ethan McIlroy (Methody College / Queens RFC / Ulster)
13. Dan Kelly (Kirkham Grammar / Loughborogh University / IQ Rugby)
12. Hayden Hyde (Cranleigh School / Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster)
11. Andrew Smith (St Michael’s College / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
10. Jack Crowley (Bandon RFC / Cork Constitution FC / Munster)
9. Lewis Finlay (Down High School / Malone RFC / Ulster)
1. Charlie Ward (Tullow RFC / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
2. Tom Stewart (Belfast Royal Academy / Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster)
3. Thomas Clarkson (Blackrock College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
4. Brian Deeny (Wexford Wanderers / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
5. Thomas Ahern (Waterpark RFC / Shannon RFC / Munster)
6. Sean O’Brien (Blackrock College / UCD RFC / Leinster)
7. Mark Hernan (St Michael’s College / Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
8. David McCann (RBAI / Banbridge RFC / Ulster)(captain)
16. John McKee (Campbell College / Old Belvedere / Leinster)
17. Ciaran Ryan (Rockwell College / Cashel RFC / Munster)
18. Ryan McMahon (Clongowes Wood College / Old Belvedere RFC / Leinster)
19. Joe McCarthy (Blackrock College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
20. Alexis Soroka (Belvedere College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
21. Ben Murphy (Presentation College Bray / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
22. Tim Corkery (Kilkenny RFC / Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
23. Luis Faria (Newpark Comprehensive / Dublin University FC / Leinster).