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Ireland U20s Announce Strong Team For Six Nations Opener

Ireland U20s Announce Strong Team For Six Nations Opener
By Gary Connaughton Updated

Ireland will get the defence of their U20 Six Nations crown underway on Friday night, with head coach Noel McNamara naming a strong side for their opening clash against Scotland.

Five members of last year's Grand Slam winning side have been named in the starting XV. Ulster's David McCann will captain the side, while Charlie Ward, Thomas Clarkson, Brian Deeny and Thomas Ahern will also carry over the winning mentality from the 2019 team.

McCann will be joined in the back row by Sean O’Brien and Mark Hernan, with English-born Dan Kelly starting at centre.

Hooker John McKee, who was part of last year's squad, is named as part of the replacements.

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Head coach Noel McNamara was confident ahead of the opener at Irish Independent Park:

The players have prepared very well since we first came together before Christmas.

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 Under-20 Team (v Scotland):

15. Oran McNulty (Millfield School / Corinthians RFC / Connacht)
14. Ethan McIlroy (Methody College / Queens RFC / Ulster)
13. Dan Kelly (Kirkham Grammar / Loughborogh University / IQ Rugby)
12. Hayden Hyde (Cranleigh School / Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster)
11. Andrew Smith (St Michael’s College / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
10. Jack Crowley (Bandon RFC / Cork Constitution FC / Munster)
9. Lewis Finlay (Down High School / Malone RFC / Ulster)

1. Charlie Ward (Tullow RFC / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
2. Tom Stewart (Belfast Royal Academy / Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster)
3. Thomas Clarkson (Blackrock College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
4. Brian Deeny (Wexford Wanderers / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
5. Thomas Ahern (Waterpark RFC / Shannon RFC / Munster)
6. Sean O’Brien (Blackrock College / UCD RFC / Leinster)
7. Mark Hernan (St Michael’s College / Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
8. David McCann (RBAI / Banbridge RFC / Ulster)(captain)

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Replacements:

16. John McKee (Campbell College / Old Belvedere / Leinster)
17. Ciaran Ryan (Rockwell College / Cashel RFC / Munster)
18. Ryan McMahon (Clongowes Wood College / Old Belvedere RFC / Leinster)
19. Joe McCarthy (Blackrock College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
20. Alexis Soroka (Belvedere College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
21. Ben Murphy (Presentation College Bray / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
22. Tim Corkery (Kilkenny RFC / Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
23. Luis Faria (Newpark Comprehensive / Dublin University FC / Leinster)

SEE ALSO: 'I Think He's The Best Number Eight In Ireland Right Now'

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