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Ireland include four uncapped players in U20 Championship squad

By Liam Heagney
Ireland captain Evan O’Connell speaks to his U20s teammates after a Six Nations match in March (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ireland have become the latest country to confirm their 30-strong squad for the upcoming World Rugby U20 Championship, new head coach Willie Faloon naming Evan O’Connell – the nephew of the legendary Paul – as skipper of a group that contains four uncapped players.

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Forwards Max Flynn and Mikey Yarr along with backs Ruben Moloney and Jake O’Riordan are the rookies added to the squad that Richie Murphy guided to within a whisker of another U20s Six Nations title. They finished the campaign in March unbeaten but lost out to England by a bonus point.

Murphy has since moved on to take charge of the Ulster first team following the departure of Dan McFarland, a development that has led to Faloon stepping up from his role as assistant to take charge for his first campaign.

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A statement read: “Head Coach Willie Faloon has named his 30-player Ireland squad for the upcoming World Rugby U20 Championship in South Africa. The tournament, taking place in the Cape Town region, runs over five match days from June 29 to July 19.

“Having led Ireland through the U20 Six Nations, Evan O’Connell has been named captain for the Championship, as Faloon’s side prepare to face Australia, Italy and Georgia in Pool B. O’Connell, Brian Gleeson, Danny Sheahan, Hugh Gavin and Sam Berman are the five returning players from last year’s tournament, when Ireland finished runners-up behind France.”

Fixture
World Rugby U20 Championship
Ireland U20
55 - 15
Full-time
Italy U20
All Stats and Data

Faloon said: “It is an exciting time for the squad as we prepare to depart for the World Rugby U20 Championship. It has been a competitive couple of weeks as the squad have pushed each other in preparation for the tournament and we know we will need to grow and evolve as a team from the Six Nations for what will be a challenging couple of weeks against quality opposition in South Africa.”

Ireland U20 Championship squad
Forwards (17)
:
Alex Usanov (Clontarf FC/Leinster)
Stephen Smyth (Old Wesley RFC/Leinster)
Patreece Bell (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)
Alan Spicer (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Evan O’Connell (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster) (captain)
James McKillop (Queen’s University RFC/Ulster)
Max Flynn (Corinthians RFC/Connacht)*
Brian Gleeson (Garryowen FC/Munster)
Emmet Calvey (Shannon RFC/Munster)
Danny Sheahan (Cork Constitution FC/Munster)
Jacob Boyd (Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
Billy Corrigan (Old Wesley RFC/Leinster)
Sean Edogbo (UCC RFC/Munster)
Bryn Ward (Ballynahinch RFC/Ulster)
Luke Murphy (Shannon RFC/Munster)
Mikey Yarr (Lansdowne FC/Leinster)*
Andrew Sparrow (UCD RFC/Leinster)

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Backs (13):
Oliver Coffey (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Jack Murphy (Clontarf FC/Ulster)
Hugo McLaughlin (Lansdowne FC/Leinster)
Hugh Gavin (Galwegians RFC/Connacht)
Wilhelm de Klerk (UCD RFC/Ulster)
Finn Treacy (Galwegians RFC/Connacht)
Ben O’Connor (UCC RFC/Munster)
Tadhg Brophy (Naas RFC/Leinster)
Sean Naughton (Galway Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
Sam Berman (Terenure RFC/Ulster)
Davy Colbert (Dublin University FC/Leinster)
Ruben Moloney (UCD RFC/Leinster)*
Jake O’Riordan (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)*
*Denotes uncapped at U20s level

Ireland U20 pool fixtures
Saturday, June 29: vs Italy, DHL Stadium, Cape Town, 4.30pm local time/3.30pm Irish time
Thursday, July 4: vs Georgia, Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch, 2pm local time/1pm Irish time
Tuesday, July 9: vs Australia, Athlone Sports Stadium, Cape Town, 2pm local time/1pm Irish time

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