The Ireland U20 Team (sponsored by PWC) to play Scotland in their opening round of the 2017 Six Nations on Friday night has been named.
Connacht’s Cillian Gallagher starts in the back row having played every minute of Ireland’s U20 Six Nations campaign last season. The 20-year-old is in the NUIG Connacht Academy and is a product of Summerhill College and Sligo RFC. He currently plays for Corinthians and also featured at last year’s World Rugby U20 Championship.
Another Connacht Academy player, Sean Masterson, was also named in the Ireland U20 squad for the opening rounds of the competition but narrowly missed out on the matchday 23 for Friday night’s opener.
A new look U20 side sees just two players previously capped at this level named in the side, Gallagher and outhalf Johnny McPhillips.
Joey Conway, Tadgh McElroy and Peter Cooper make up the front with Fineen Wycherley and Oisin Dowling in the second row. Gallagher, Paul Boyle and Cealan Doris complete the pack.
Jack Kelly will start at fullback with Jordan Larmour and Colm Hogan named on the wings. UCD duo, Gavin Mullin and Ciaran Frawley make up the centre paring with McPhillips named at outhalf and Johnny Stewart named at scrum half.
Speaking of his selection and challenge ahead, Head Coach Nigel Carolan said: “As is the nature of U20’s rugby, there is fresh look to the side, the majority of the guys haven’t played at this level before however many have gotten good game time with their provincial A teams in the British and Irish Cup this season, so that should stand to them.
“We are looking forward to starting the Six Nations. Training has gone well and the boys have gelled as a group. We are taking the tournament one game at a time and are looking forward to kicking things off in Scotland on Friday night.”
Ireland Under-20 v Scotland U20, Friday 3rd Feb, 8.30pm, Broadwood Stadium, Glasgow (Live on RTE2)
15. Jack Kelly (Dublin University / Leinster) (Captain)
14. Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College / Leinster)
13. Gavin Mullin (UCD / Leinster)
12. Ciaran Frawley (UCD / Leinster)
11. Colm Hogan (Dublin University / Munster)
10. Johnny McPhillips (Ballynahinch / Ulster)
9. Johnny Stewart (Queen’s University / Ulster)
1. Joey Conway (UL Bohemian / Munster)
2. Tadgh McElroy (Lansdowne / Leinster)
3. Peter Cooper (Belfast Harlequins / Ulster)
4. Fineen Wycherley (Young Munster / Munster)
5. Oisin Dowling (Lansdowne / Leinster)
6. Cillian Gallagher (Corinthians / Connacht)
7. Paul Boyle (Lansdowne / Leinster)
8. Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College / Leinster)
16. Adam Moloney (Shannon / Munster)
17. Rory Mulvihill (UCD / Leinster)
18. Charlie Connolly (Dublin University / Leinster)
19. Jack Regan (UCD / Leinster)
20. Marcus Rea (Queen’s University / Ulster)
21. Jack Lyons (Young Munster / Munster)
22. Conor Fitzgerald (Shannon / Munster)
23. Tommy O’Brien (UCD / Leinster)
Ireland U20 Six Nations Fixtures
Friday 3rd February 2017
Scotland U20 v Ireland U20, 8.30pm, Broadwood Stadium, Glasgow
Friday 10th February 2017
Italy U20 v Ireland U20, 7pm (6pm GMT), Stadio Enrico Chersoni, Prato
Friday 24th February 2017
Ireland U20 v France U20, 8pm, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin
Saturday 11th March 2017
Wales U20 v Ireland U20, 6.30pm, Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay, North Wales
Friday 17th March 2017
Ireland U20 v England U20, 6pm, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin