Rugby

Harry Byrne Returns As Ireland U20s Bid For Grand Slam Glory

Harry Byrne Returns As Ireland U20s Bid For Grand Slam Glory

We could be standing on the precipice of history.

Friday night will see Noel McNamara's swashbuckling Ireland U20 side take to the field in Colwyn Bay bidding to become the first side from this island to capture a U20 Six Nations Grand Slam.

Already assured of winning the Six Nations trophy, the Irish youngster will fancy their chances against a Welsh side that have already gone down to France and Scotland during this year's competition, and now have only pride to play for.

At today's team announcement, the head coach spoke glowingly of his side, feeling that they are fully prepared for what Friday night will bring.

It was great to win the title with last week’s win over France, but it’s testament to the players how they’ve parked the victory and are fully focused on what can be achieved in Wales this Friday night.

They are a really tight knit-group, which I think has been evident in their performances over the last number of weeks.

They have one final test this week and the group are really relishing the challenge and opportunity that Friday will bring.

McNamara is able to welcome back talismanic fly-half Harry Byrne who missed out on last weekend's victory over the French in Cork. The Connacht man replaces Ben Healy in the only change to the starting side.

Healy kicked four penalties and two conversions in last weekend's title-clinching victory, as the class of 2019 became only the second Irish side to capture an U20s crown.

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It was last achieved in 2010, when the likes of Simon Zebo, Andrew Conway and Rhys Ruddock just missed out on a feted Grand Slam for the Allen Clarke mentored side.

Should Ireland go all the way in North Wales, it could prove a bitter-sweet evening for skipper David Hawkshaw. The Leinster centre suffered a knee injury in the lead-up to the France game and will now miss the upcoming U20 World Cup after undergoing surgery this week.

On what will hopefully be the first of many momentous nights for Irish Rugby in 2019, be sure to tune into Balls.ie on Friday night. We have Devin Toner and Nigel Carolan joining us thanks to the good people at PwC for big game analysis. So get settled in for 7 bells on, and let Balls be you news of Irish sporting history in the making!!

SEE ALSO: 'It's Incredible That Wales Are On Course For A Grand Slam Given What's Gone On'

Aaron Strain

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