Rugby

Who Are The Ireland Players To Watch In This Year's U20's Six Nations?

Who Are The Ireland Players To Watch In This Year's U20's Six Nations?

The U20's Six Nations gets underway tonight, with Ireland hosting England at Irish Independent Park in Cork. Irish rugby has perhaps never been in a stronger position than it is currently, with frightening strength in depth across all positions on the pitch.

That has extended to our u20 team, with some wonderful talent coming through at the moment. But who are some of the players to keep an eye on in this year's tournament?

That question came up during the recent Ireland U20s Six Nations 2019 Preview on Balls.ie, where Darren Cave, Bernard Jackman and Mike Ruddock weighed in on the matter.

Darren Cave (apologetically) stayed close to home with his two selections, mentioning Ulster teammates Angus Kernohan and Stewart Moore as players we should keep a eye on:

Angus Kernohan, he's played a lot of rugby for Ulster this year, I'd say he's played maybe 10 games. He's played Champions Cup rugby. That is miles ahead of where I was when I was playing u20s. I don't want to put any pressure on him, but he has held his own in the Champions Cup, so I am expecting when I see him play Under 20s to stand out.

The other guy, unfortunately is a centre, young Stewart Moore who is just out of school. He hasn't played a load of rugby because he's had a load of injuries, but if he gets back fit he's a very talented footballer, particularly going forward. I think he could cause some problems at this level.

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Bernard Jackman pointed towards a pair of fly halves who hold massive potential, adding to what is becoming a real position of strength for Ireland.

There's Harry Byrne, who's Ross Byrne's brother. He played last year when he was a year underage, a really promising '10'. There's another promising '10', Ben Healy from Munster, who won a school's cup medal with Glenstal, last year's captain. He's very impressive.

We see Carbery now, we see Burns up in Ulster, we see Frawley getting some game time for Leinster and being impressive...

I think these two kids have a lot of potential, you have a good young ten in Ulster, Johnny McPhillips, he's underage for this. But there's a lot of good young tens in our system now which is great.

Mike Ruddock coached Byrne at Lansdowne, so he has first hand experience of the impact he can have on a game:

I should know a bit about young Byrne because I've actually been coaching him, I forgot he was U20s this year, so apologies!

He's fantastic. His debut against Cork Con... this lad came in without training with us all week, he had been away with the U20s in camp. He came in and just was Roy of the Rovers stuff. He scored a couple of tries, made a couple of tries and kicked goals and Cork Con suffered their only defeat.

He's obviously very talented.

SEE ALSO: Watch: Virgin Media Promo For Ireland Vs England Will Get The Blood Boiling

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