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Four changes for Ireland U20s, including an entire new front row

By Liam Heagney
Ireland U20s coach Richie Murphy (Photo by World Rugby via Getty Images)

Grand-Slam chasing Ireland have named an U20s team to visit England that has four changes from their 43-8 Six Nations win over Wales.

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The Irish were far too good last time out for the Wesh in Cork but that hasn’t prevented head coach Richie Murphy from altering half of his starting pack for the trip to The Rec to take on an English team that has also won its opening three matches.

Murphy has named the same backline, but his starting midfielders will swap positions as Hugh Gavin is named at 13 and Wilhelm de Klerk at 12 on this occasion. It’s in the forwards, though, where things get very interesting.

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Scrum has been an issue for the Irish despite their winning streak taking them to within two wins of a third successive U20s Six Nations Grand Slam.

Alex Usanov, Danny Sheahan and Jacob Boyd will all start in the front row at the expense of benched trio Ben Howard, Henry Walker and Patreece Bell.

Fixture
U20 Six Nations
England U20
32 - 32
Full-time
Ireland U20
All Stats and Data

Alan Spicer also returns to the starting line-up, partnering skipper Evan O’Connell. Joe Hopes, who started at lock the last day, switches to blindside with Sean Edogbo dropping to the bench.

England, meanwhile, have made five changes to their XV following their round three win away to Scotland.

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Ireland U20s (vs England, Friday)
15. Ben O’Connor (UCC RFC/Munster)
14. Finn Treacy (Galwegians RFC/Connacht)
13. Wilhelm de Klerk (UCD RFC/Leinster)
12. Hugh Gavin (Galwegians RFC/Connacht)
11. Hugo McLaughlin (Lansdowne FC/Leinster)
10. Jack Murphy (Clontarf FC/Leinster)
9. Oliver Coffey (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
1. Alex Usanov (Clontarf FC/Leinster)
2. Danny Sheahan (Cork Constitution FC/Munster)
3. Jacob Boyd (Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
4. Alan Spicer (UCD RFC/Leinster)
5. Evan O’Connell (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)(captain)
6. Joe Hopes (Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
7. Bryn Ward (Ballynahinch RFC/Ulster)
8. Luke Murphy (Shannon RFC/Munster)

Replacements:
16. Henry Walker (Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
17. Ben Howard (Terenure College RFC/Leinster)
18. Patreece Bell (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)
19. Billy Corrigan (Old Wesley RFC/Leinster)
20. Sean Edogbo (UCC RFC/Munster)
21. Tadhg Brophy (Naas RFC/Leinster)
22. Sean Naughton (Galway Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
23. Davy Colbert (Dublin University FC/Leinster)

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