Ireland team named for Under-20 match with France

Nigel Carolan's team have won their opening two matches

BY Newstalk 13:32 Wednesday 22 February 2017, 13:32 22 Feb 2017

Ireland head coach Nigel Carolan talks to the players after the game against Italy. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO

Ireland Under-20 head coach Nigel Carolan has named his Ireland side to face France this Friday night in Donnybrook.

There a number of changes to the side that will run out in their first home game of the Under-20 Six Nations.

Ulster and Queen's Rob Lyttle comes into the team at full-back and will win his first Under-20 cap on Friday night. He will be partnered in the back-field by Jordan Larmour and Calvin Nash. Nash will captain the side in the absence of the injured Jack Kelly and Cillian Gallagher.

Tommy O'Brien will wear the number 13 jersey and he lines out alongside his UCD and Leinster team mate Ciaran Frawley at centre.

At half-back, Munster and Garryowen out-half Bill Johnston makes his first appearance for the Ireland Under-20s since last June, when Ireland faced New Zealand in the Under-20 World Championships. He is partnered by Queen's University and Ulster scrum-half Johnny Stewart.

The front-row is unchanged from the Italy game, with Joey Conway, Tadgh McElroy and Charlie Connolly packing down. In the second-row are UCD's Jack Regan and Lansdowne's Oisin Dowling.

Ireland players celebrate after the win against Italy. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Matteo Ciambelli

The back-row sees Ulster's Marcus Rea come into the side at flanker, with Paul Boyle and Caelan Dorris wearing 7 and 8.

In the replacements, Leinster's Ronan Kelleher will be looking to win his first Ireland Under-20 cap from the bench on Friday night, while Peter Cooper returns to the squad having missed the Italy game through injury. Rory Mulvihill is the third front-row replacement.

Gavin Coombes again takes his place in the replacements, while Connacht's Sean Masterson will make his Under-20 debut should he be called up.

The uncapped Alex McHenry joins Jack Lyons and Conor Fitzgerald as backs cover.

Ahead of the French encounter, Head Coach Nigel Carolan said; "We've been forced to make a number of changes due to injuries this week, but that gives other players the opportunity to demonstrate what they can offer."

"The players trained with the Senior squad last Friday in Monaghan and they will have taken a lot of positives from that session which they carried into training this week."

Ireland Under-20 side and replacements to face France Under-20s

15. Rob Lyttle (Queen's University Belfast / Ulster)
14. Jordan Larmour (St. Mary's College / Leinster)
13. Tommy O'Brien (UCD RFC / Leinster)
12. Ciaran Frawley (UCD RFC / Leinster)
11. Calvin Nash (Young Munster / Munster) Captain
10. Bill Johnston (Garryowen / Munster)
9. Johnny Stewart (Queen's University Belfast / Ulster)

1. Joey Conway (UL Bohemians / Munster)
2. Tadgh McElroy (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
3. Charlie Connolly (Dublin University / Leinster)
4. Jack Regan (UCD RFC / Leinster)
5. Oisin Dowling (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
6. Marcus Rea (Queen's University Belfast / Ulster)
7. Paul Boyle (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
8. Caelan Doris (St. Mary's College / Leinster)

Replacements:

16. Ronan Kelleher (UCD RFC / Leinster)
17. Rory Mulvihill (UCD RFC / Leinster)
18. Peter Cooper (Belfast Harlequins / Ulster)
19. Gavin Coombes (Young Munster / Munster)
20. Sean Masterson (Corinthians / Connacht)
21. Jack Lyons (Young Munster / Munster)
22. Conor Fitzgerald (Shannon RFC / Munster)
23. Alex McHenry (Cork Constitution / Munster)

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