The Ireland U20 squad has been named by Head Coach Nigel Carolan for the opening rounds of the U20 Six Nations Championship with two NUIG Connacht Academy players included.
Corinthians team-mates Cillian Gallagher and Sean Masterson have been named in the squad by Carolan, who is also the manager of the NUIG Connacht Academy.
Lock Gallagher played every minute of Ireland’s U20 Six Nations campaign last season and also played at the World Rugby U20 Championship. The 20-year-old is a product of Summerhill College in Sligo and Sligo RFC.
Sean Masterson is a younger brother of Connacht senior player Eoghan and is set to make his Ireland U20 debut in the competition. A former Portlaoise RFC player, Masterson has previously represented the Ireland U18s and can play in the second row and the back row.
On selection of the squad, Carolan said: “As is the nature of U20s rugby, we have a new look squad this season, with just a few of last year’s players returning, so it will be a new and exciting challenge for both the players and management.
“We had a number of camps before Christmas and the attitude and enthusiasm that the players brought with them to these camps has been extremely positive.
“While international rugby at U20s level will be new to the most of these players, the majority of them have all come through the IRFU player-pathway and will have worn the green jersey at U18 and U19 levels.
“Several of the squad have also gotten good game time with their provincial A teams in the British and Irish Cup this season, so that should stand to them.
“The U20 Six Nations Championship is always an exciting competition, but we’ll be taking it one game at a time and we’re looking forward to getting things under way against Scotland on Friday week.”
The Ireland U20s will open their Six Nations campaign against Scotland this Friday, 3rd February at the Broadwood Stadium in Glasgow at 8.30pm. They will then travel to Prato to play Italy on Friday 10th February, with a 7pm (local time) kick-off.
Ireland will then play their first home game of the Championship against on Friday 24th February in Donnybrook.
They will face Wales on Saturday, 11th March in Colwyn Bay in northern Wales and will finish off the championship on St. Patrick’s Day against England in Donnybrook, in what will be a double-header with the Ireland Women.
Tickets for the Ireland U20s home games in Donnybrook, which will again be sponsored by Electric Ireland are available now via www.ticketmaster.ie
Ireland U20 Six Nations Squad
Paul Boyle (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
Charlie Connolly (Dublin University / Leinster)
Joey Conway (UL Bohemians / Munster)
Gavin Coombes (Young Munster / Munster)
Peter Cooper (Belfast Harlequins / Ulster)
Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College / Leinster)
Oisin Dowling (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
John Foley (Shannon RFC / Munster)
Cillian Gallagher (Corinthians RFC / Connacht)
Ronan Kelleher (UCD / Leinster)
Sean Masterson (Corinthians / Connacht)
Tadgh McElroy (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
Rory Mulvihill (UCD RFC / Leinster)
Marcus Rea (Queen’s University / Ulster)
Jack Regan (UCD RFC / Leinster)
Fineen Wycherley (Young Munster / Munster)
Rory Butler (Queen’s University / Ulster)
Peadar Collins (Garryowen / Munster)
Liam Coombes (Garryowen / Munster)
Conor Dean (St. Mary’s College / Leinster)
Conor Fitzgerald (Shannon RFC / Munster)
Colm Hogan (Dublin University / Munster)
Ciaran Frawley (UCD RFC / Leinster)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University / Leinster) Captain
Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College / Leinster)
Jack Lyons (Young Munster / Munster)
Robert Lyttle (Queen’s University / Ulster)
Johnny McPhillips (Ballynahinch / Ulster)
Gavin Mullin (UCD RFC / Leinster)
Calvin Nash (Young Munster / Munster)
Tommy O’Brien (UCD RFC / Leinster)
Johnny Stewart (Queen’s University / Ulster)
Ireland U20 Six Nations Fixtures
Friday 3rd February 2017
Scotland v Ireland, 8.30pm, Broadwood Stadium, Glasgow
Friday 10th February 2017
Italy v Ireland, 7pm (6pm GMT), Stadio Enrico Chersoni, Prato
Friday 24th February 2017
Ireland v France, 8pm, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin
Saturday 11th March 2017
Wales v Ireland, 6.30pm, Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay, North Wales
Friday 17th March 2017
Ireland v England, 6pm, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin
Ireland U20 Management
Head Coach – Nigel Carolan
Assistant Coach – Peter Malone
Scrum Coach – Conor Twomey
Team Manager – Hendrik Kruger
Strength & Conditioning Coach – Martin Kennedy