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Recognise Any Of These Young Fellas From Ireland's U19 World Champs In 1998?

Recognise Any Of These Young Fellas From Ireland's U19 World Champs In 1998?
By Gavin Cooney
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A year before the senior squad flopped at the World Cup in 1999, the Irish Under 19s won the Rugby World Championship in Toulouse.

Coached by Declan Kidney, the side featured a number of players who would go on to play with the senior squad, including Donnacha O'Callaghan, Shane Moore, Kieran Campbell, Paddy Wallace and some bloke called Brian O'Driscoll.

Ireland faced France in the final having been the right side of two things we haven't seen in international sport in this country in quite a while: benefitting from a poor administrative decision along with a knockout win against Argentina.

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Having beaten USA in the group stages, Ireland faced South Africa in the quarter-finals, with the game ending in a draw, 17-17. The game was initially supposed to be decided by a penalty shoot-out: which Ireland lost. Ultimately, however, the result of the game was determined by an administrative error on the part of the South Africans: they put forward an unused substitute to kick a penalty in the shoot-out.

As a result, the 'Boks were eliminated and Ireland advanced to a semi-final against Argentina. Unconfirmed reports claim that a youthful John Delaney blushed at the 'Boks administrative incompetence.

The Pumas were embarrassed by Ireland in the semi-final, crushed 18-3 by Kidney's cubs.

Thus Ireland met hosts France in the final. Watch the highlights below, featuring Brian O'Driscoll kicking penalties, and a Dan Carter-esque display of running rugby from out-half from Paddy Wallace:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLZtluScKkA

This is great, and it is the first time the game has surfaced on Youtube. Our thanks go to Killian M2.

See Also: Eight Things That Every Munster Fan Knows To Be 100% True

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