The Ireland U20s side, sponsored by PwC, to face New Zealand tomorrow has been named by Head Coach Peter Malone with Connacht’s Sean Masterson retaining his place.
In the front-row, props Joey Conway and Greg McGrath will start alongside hooker Adam Moloney.
In the second-row, Jack Regan and Gavin Coombes line out together, and in the back-row, flankers Marcus Rea and John Foley pack down with number 8 Masterson.
Jonny Stewart starts at scrum-half, with Conor Fitzgerald, who was called up to the squad earlier this week as an injury replacement, slotting straight into the side at out-half.
In the centres, David McCarthy will win his first Ireland U20 cap when he lines out alongside Jack Kelly. Kelly will also captain the side.
Liam Coombes, who also joined the squad this week as an injury replacement, will win his first U20s cap on one wing, with Michael Silvester, who won his first cap from the bench against Scotland, lining out on the opposite wing.
Alan Tynan will win his third cap from full-back.
At today’s Captain’s Run at the Kutaisi Stadium, Malone said: “It’s been a difficult opening to the tournament for the team, but we have a young side and while everyone is disappointed that the results haven’t gone our way so far, the players will have gained a lot from those two games.
“There’s more players gaining their first U20s caps tomorrow so it gives them the opportunity to show what they can do in an Ireland jersey.
“New Zealand have looked impressive in their opening games against Scotland and Italy so we will need to take the learnings from our opening games and be ready for a huge test tomorrow.”
The match will be broadcast live by Eir Sport, and it will be available to watch via www.worldrugby.org in certain countries.
Ireland U20 side v New Zealand U20 , World Rugby U20s Championship
(Kutaisi Stadium, Kutaisi, Thursday, 8th June 2017, 3.30pm local time/12.30pm Irish time)
15 Alan Tynan (Young Munster/ Munster) (3)
14 Michael Silvester (Dublin University/Leinster) (1)
13 Jack Kelly (Dublin University/ Leinster) (4) Captain
12 David McCarthy (Garryowen/Munster)* (0)
11 Liam Coombes (Garryowen/Munster) *(0)
10 Conor Fitzgerald (Shannon/Munster) (4)
9 Jonny Stewart (Queen’s University/ Ulster) (7)
1 Joey Conway (UL Bohemians/Munster) (6)
2 Adam Moloney (Shannon/Munster) (2)
3 Greg McGrath (Lansdowne/ Leinster) (3)
4 Gavin Coombes (Young Munster/ Munster) (5)
5 Jack Regan (UCD/ Leinster) (7)
6 Marcus Rea (Queen’s University/Ulster) (4)
7 John Foley (Shannon/Munster) (1)
8 Sean Masterson (Corinthians/Connacht) (3)
16 Ronan Kelleher (UCD/ Leinster) (5)
17 Jordan Duggan (Naas/Leinster) (1)
18 Charlie Connolly (Dublin University/Leinster) (7)
19 Fineen Wycherley (Young Munster/ Munster) (6)
20 Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) (6)
21 Jack Stafford (Shannon/ Munster) (5)
22 Conor Dean (St. Mary’s/ Leinster) (2)
23 Ciaran Frawley (UCD/ Leinster) (7)
*Denotes uncapped at this level.
IRELAND U-20s’ World Rugby U20s Championship Fixtures & Results:
Ireland 21 – 22 Italy
Kutaisi Stadium, Kutaisi, and Wednesday, May 31.
Ireland 28 – 32 Scotland
Kutaisi Stadium, Kutaisi, Sunday, June 4
Ireland v New Zealand
Kutaisi Stadium, Kutaisi, Thursday, June 8, 3.30pm local time/12.30pm Irish time
Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi, Tuesday, June 13
Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi, Sunday, June 18