Munster’s Foley named for Ireland U20 debut against imposing England

NIGEL CAROLAN HAS made two changes to his Ireland U20 team ahead of Friday evening’s clash with Grand Slam-chasing England at Donnybrook [KO 6pm, RTÉ 2].

Munster and Shannon RFC man John Foley has been named at blindside flanker for his debut at this level, while UCD RFC and Leinster centre Gavin Mullin makes his return from injury at outside centre.

John Foley in action for Munster A. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Otherwise, the Ireland side is unchanged from the XV that suffered defeat last time out against Wales.

Scrum-half Jack Stafford, Foley’s Shannon clubmate, is hoping for his Ireland U20 debut off the bench, while Lansdowne prop Greg McGrath is another in line to earn his first cap as a replacement.

Cillian Gallagher, Jack Kelly, Rob Lyttle, Johnny McPhillips, Peter Cooper, Alex McHenry and Jack Lyons are all missing for Ireland through injury.

England, meanwhile, have made four changes to their side ahead of their chance to claim the Grand Slam.

Sam Aspland-Robinson, Tom Curry, Henry Walker and the outstanding Saracens lock Nick Isiekwe all come into the starting XV, with the highly-promising Bath number eight Zach Mercer leading the team again.

England have racked up try-scoring bonus points in each of their four wins so far, scoring a total of 26 tries in four games and conceding just five.

Nick Isiekwe is a player of huge promise. Source: Camerasport/Simon King/INPHO

It has been a positive campaign for Ireland so far, with three wins before the loss to Wales last weekend, but this English side will provide the greatest test of their quality at Donnybrook.

“The players have dusted themselves down from that game and are now looking forward to Friday night’s fixture.

“England are coming to town with the title in the bag, but the players really want to finish the campaign on a positive note, so we’re confident that we can put in a big performance in front of a home crowd on St. Patrick’s Day.”

Ireland U20:

15. Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College / Leinster)
14. Tommy O’Brien (UCD RFC / Leinster)
13. Gavin Mullin (UCD RFC / Leinster)
12. Ciaran Frawley (UCD RFC / Leinster)
11. Calvin Nash (Young Munster / Munster) (captain)
10. Bill Johnston (Garryowen / Munster)
9. Jonny Stewart (Queen’s University / Ulster)

1. Joey Conway (UL Bohemians / Munster)
2. Tadgh McElroy (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
3. Charlie Connolly (Dublin University / Leinster)
4. Fineen Wycherley (Young Munster / Munster)
5. Oisin Dowling (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
6. John Foley (Shannon RFC / Munster)
7. Paul Boyle (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
8. Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College / Leinster)


16. Ronan Kelleher (UCD / Leinster)
17. Greg McGrath (Lansdowne / Leinster)
18. Matthew Burke (Corinthians / Connacht)
19. Jack Regan (UCD RFC / Leinster)
20. Gavin Coombes (Young Munster / Munster)
21. Jack Stafford (Shannon / Munster)
22. Conor Fitzgerald (Shannon RFC / Munster)
23. Colm Hogan (Dublin University / Munster)

England U20:

15. Tom Parton (London Irish)
14. Joe Cokanasiga (London Irish)
13. Dominic Morris (Saracens)
12. Will Butler (Worcester Warriors)
11. Sam Aspland-Robinson (Harlequins)
10. Max Malins (Saracens)
9. Harry Randall (Gloucester Rugby)

1. Ollie Dawe (Bristol Rugby)
2. Henry Walker (Gloucester Rugby)
3. Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby)
4. Jack Nay (Saracens)
5. Nick Isiekwe (Saracens)
6. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
7. Ben Curry (Sale Sharks)
8. Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby) (captain)


16. Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons)
17. Ralph Adams-Hale (Saracens)
18. Joseph Morris (Worcester Warriors)
19. Justin Clegg (Worcester Warriors)
20. Josh Bayliss (Bath Rugby)
21. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints)
22. Theo Brophy Clews (London Irish)
23. Max Wright (Yorkshire Carnegie)

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