A 37-man Ireland squad has been named for the 2020 U20 Six Nations.
The Ireland team, which is sponsored by PwC, will be captained by returning Ulster backrow David McCann. He, along which six others - Thomas Ahern, Thomas Clarkson, Brian Deeny, John McKee, Charlie Ward and Max O’Reilly - will play their second year at this age grade.
In all, there are 20 players from Leinster, including second row Clarkson (pictured above) who started all five games for Ireland last year. There are seven from Ulster, five from Munster and four from Connacht. The Irish qualified Dan Kelly is the only squad member playing outside of the four provinces.
"It was a tough selection and there are a number of players who are unlucky to miss out," said Ireland head coach Noel McNamara.
It’s important to note at this stage that selection will be ongoing and players from outside this group will have further opportunities to impress throughout the season.
Ireland won the U20 Grand Slam last year playing their games at Irish Independent Park and it will again host Ireland's home games in 2020. Their campaign gets underway on Friday January 31 with the visit of Scotland to Cork.
Ireland U20s 2020 Six Nations Squad
Charlie Ward (Tullow RFC / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
Marcus Hannan (Clane RFC / Old Belvedere RFC / Leinster)
Harry Noonan (Greystones RFC / Old Wesley RFC / Leinster)
Tom Stewart (Belfast Royal Academy / Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster)
John McKee (Campbell College / Old Belvedere / Leinster)
Bobby Sheehan (Clongowes Wood College / UCD RFC / Leinster)
Thomas Clarkson (Blackrock College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
Ryan McMahon (Clongowes Wood College / Old Belvedere RFC / Leinster)
Brian Deeny (Wexford Wanderers / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
Eoin O’Connor (Waterpark RFC / Young Munster RFC / Munster)
Thomas Ahern (Waterpark RFC / Shannon RFC / Munster)
Joe McCarthy (Blackrock College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
Alex Soroka (Belvedere College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
Cian Prendergast (Newbridge College / UCD RFC / Leinster)
Cian Hurley (CBC Cork / Garryowen FC / Munster)
Sean O’Brien (Blackrock College / UCD RFC / Leinster)
Mark Hernan (St Michael’s College / Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
Anthony Ryan (Clongowes Wood College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
David McCann (RBAI / Banbridge RFC / Ulster)
Joshua Dunne (Denstone College / Galwegians RFC / Connacht).
Lewis Finlay (Down High School / Malone RFC / Ulster)
Ben Murphy (Presentation College Bray / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
Conor McKee (Sullivan Upper School / Queens RFC / Ulster)
Jack Crowley (Bandon RFC / Cork Constitution FC / Munster)
Cathal Forde (Coláiste Iognáid / Corinthians RFC / Connacht)
Tim Corkery (Kilkenny RFC / Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
Andrew Smith (St Michael’s College / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
Niall Comerford (Blackrock College / UCD RFC / Leinster)
Ethan McIlroy (Methody College / Queens RFC / Ulster)
Diarmuid Kilgallen (Cistercian College Roscrea / Galwegians RFC / Connacht)
Hayden Hyde (Cranleigh School / Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster)
Ben Moxham (Ballymena RFC / Ballymena RFC / Ulster)
Harry O’Riordan (CBC Cork / UCC RFC / Munster)
Luis Faria (Newpark Comprehensive / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
Dan Kelly (Kirkham Grammar / Loughborogh University / IQ Rugby)
Oran McNulty (Millfield School / Corinthians RFC / Connacht)
Max O’Reilly (St Gerard’s / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile