The IrelandU20s begin their Six Nations campaign on Friday night when they travel across the Irish Sea to take on Wales in Stadium CSM in Colwyn Bay. Ireland will be looking to start off well as they set about retaining their Six Nations title and try to emulate their Grand Slam success from last year. We have all the information right here on how to watch Ireland U20s v Wales tonight.
When is Ireland U20s v Wales U20s?
Ireland kickoff their campaign at 19:00 Irish time on Friday 3rd of February at Stadium CSM Wales.
How to watch Ireland U20s v Wales U20s?
Ireland v Wales is being broadcast live on Virgin Media Two. The pre-game build-up starts at 18:30 ahead of a 19:00 kick-off.
Ireland come into this tournament as defending champions after winning a Grand Slam last year. Having won the tournament four times previously in 2007, 2010, 2019, and 2022 Ireland will be aiming to defend the trophy successfully for the first time. Wales struggled last season finishing in fifth place with just one win against Scotland. Luckily the nature of U20s means the squads are vastly different for each tournament and form is only temporary. In saying that Ireland have been performing well at the age grade since their win in 2019, winning all three games they played in 2020, finishing third in 2021 with three wins, and winning their third Grand sWlam in 2022. This fixture is a repeat of both team's 2022 opening games, where Ireland hosted Wales in Musgrave Park, running out convincing winners after a 53-5 thrashing.
The man to lead Ireland's squad this year will be Gus McCarthy. A tried and tested captain, he led his Blackrock College Senior Cup side to glory last year, overcoming Gonzaga in the RDS. Ireland carry over three players from their win last year as well as players from the summer series in Italy including Sam Prendergast younger brother of Connacht star Cian. Similarly, Wales come into this campaign with three players from last year's championship. With Welsh head coach Byron Hayward confident that his team are in a completely different place to where they were 12 months ago, it will be all to play for in this Ireland U20s v Wales U20s opener. Ireland will look to make a strong start to their title defence and Wales look to improve on their unusually poor tournament last year.
Richie Murphy has named a strong pack for their opening games against Wales on Friday. Captain and hooker McCarthy is joined by three 2022 veterans: Mangan, O'Tighearnaigh and McNabney. Sam Prendergast controls the backline from out-half after impressing in the U20s summer series and is joined by Leinster Academy number nine Fintan Gunne in the half-backs. The full Ireland team is:
15. James Nicholson, 14. Ike Anagu, 13. Hugh Cooney, 12. John Devine, 11. Hugh Gavin, 10. Sam Prendergast, 9. Fintan Gunne; 1. George Hadden, 2. Gus McCarthy (captain), 3. Paddy McCarthy, 4. Diarmuid Mangan, 5. Conor O'Tighearnaigh, 6. James McNabney, 7. Ruadhán Quinn, 8. Brian Gleeson
Introducing the Ireland U20s Match Day Squad for Friday's U20 Six Nations opener against Wales! 🟢#FutureIsGreen | @PwCIreland
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 1, 2023
Wales head coach Bryon Hayward has named Dragons back row Ryan Woodman as captain for Friday's match. His leadership will be pivotal as he will be the only capped player in the forward pack that will face an experienced Ireland scrum. On the other hand, the back line has a bit more experience with players capped at U20 level: Dan Edwards the out-half, full-back Cameron Winnett and winger Harri Houston. The team in full is:
15. Cameron Winnett, 14.Llien Morgan, 13.Louie Hennessey, 12.Harri Ackerman, 11. Harri Houston, 10.Dan Edwards, 9. Archie Hughes; 1. Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths, 2. Sam Scarfe, 3. Tomas Pritchard, 4. Liam Edwards, 5. Johnny Green, 6. Ryan Woodman, 7. Luca Giannini, 8. Huw Davies
🏴 𝐂𝐘𝐌𝐑𝐔 𝐔𝟐𝟎 🏴
The U20s to face ☘️ Ireland on Friday at Stadiwm CSM in Bae Colwyn 👇#WelshRugby
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏴 (@WelshRugbyUnion) February 1, 2023
SEE ALSO: The U20s Giant Who Traded A Hurley And Tipp Colours For An Oval Ball And A Green Jersey