Ireland welcome Scotland to Irish Independent Park on Friday night in their opening fixture of the 2020 Under-20s Six Nations.
Ulster players make up a large proportion of the Irish back row, with Ethan McIlroy, Hayden Hyde and Lewis Finlay included alongside forward David McCann who captains the side against their Celtic rivals.
Ireland have lost their last two international fixtures and will be looking to bounce back against a Scotland team who were beaten 59-34 by Fiji in their previous outing.
In total, 17 of the 23 players included in Scotland’s squad competed in the new FOSROC Super6 competition this season, highlighting the good work being done in Scottish domestic rugby.
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT 🏴
Your Scotland U20 team to face Ireland in the opening match of the U20 Six Nations this Friday in Cork (kick-off 7.15pm). #AsOne
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) January 29, 2020
Scotland U20s head coach Sean Lineen included 12 players who competed in last season’s U20 campaign and feels this experience will help his side on Friday.
“It’s been a pretty tough selection, there’s a lot of guys who were here last year and they obviously have a point to prove. The team’s come together really well, they’re pretty tight and working really hard on different parts of their game,” Lineen said.
“We know we will need to get our performance right against a pretty physical and clever Irish outfit who won this fixture last year away from home, so we know what type of cauldron we’re going in to.
“We’ve prepared really well this week, I’ve been very impressed with their attitude and we’re going over there to give a really good performance.”
Ireland Under-20 Head Coach Noel McNamara has named his team for Friday night’s Under-20 Six Nations opener against Scotland at Irish Independent Park ☘️
More: https://t.co/8Z2KSVTXkA#ShoulderToShoulder pic.twitter.com/4GVeSu4Hcn
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) January 30, 2020
Ireland U20s head coach Noel McNamara has had a long time to work with his squad for the tournament and feels they’re ready to compete on the big stage.
“The players have prepared very well since we first came together before Christmas,” Said McNamara.
“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: Oran McNulty (Connacht), Ethan McIlroy (Ulster), Dan Kelly (IQ Rugby), (Ulster), Andrew Smith (Leinster), Jack Crowley (Munster), Lewis Finlay (Ulster), Charlie Ward (Leinster), Tom Stewart (Ulster), Thomas Clarkson (Leinster), Brian Deeny (Leinster), Thomas Ahern (Munster). Sean O’Brien (Leinster), Mark Hernan (Leinster), David McCann (Ulster) (captain)
Replacements: John McKee (Leinster), Ciaran Ryan (Munster), Ryan McMahon (Leinster), Joe McCarthy (Leinster), Alexis Soroka (Leinster), Ben Murphy (Leinster), Tim Corkery (Leinster), Luis Faria (Leinster)
Scotland: Ollie Smith (Ayrshire Bulls), Jacob Henry (Southern Knights), Matthew Currie (Watsonians Rugby), Robbie McCallum (Boroughmuir Bears), Jack Blain (Heriot’s Rugby), Nathan Chamberlain (Hartpury College/Bristol Bears), Roan Frostwick (Watsonians Rugby), Alex Maxwell (Stourbridge), Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks), Dan Gamble (Heriot’s Rugby), Kieran Watt (Watsonians Rugby), Cameron Henderson (Stirling County), Jack Hill (Durham University), Rory Darge (Southern Knights), Connor Boyle (Watsonians Rugby)
Replacements: Rory Jackson (Watsonians Rugby), Mak Wilson (Southern Knights), Thomas Lambert (Sydney University), Jamie Campbell (Biggar), Gregor Brown (Boroughmuir Bears), Kyle McGhie (Boroughmuir Bears), Cameron Scott (Boroughmuir Bears), Rufus McLean (Boroughmuir Bears)