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Two changes for Ireland U20s in hunt for Six Nations title hat-trick

By Liam Heagney
Ireland U20s scrum-half Oliver Coffey in action against England (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Ireland U20s coach Richie Murphy has made two changes to his team to host Scotland this Friday in Cork. The Irish kept alive their hopes of securing a third successive Six Nations age-grade title by scoring a clock-in-the-red try to draw 32-all with rivals England last Friday at The Rec.

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That result left the English one point clear at the top of the championship table. However, with Mark Mapletoft’s side having to visit the world champions France in the final round in Pau, Ireland will hope that a home win over bottom-side Scotland can hand them the trophy for the third year in a row.

Having made four changes to his starting pack for round four, Murphy has now reversed two of those changes for the visit of the Scots.

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Joel Kpoku on his move to PAU

Lyon forward Joel Kpoku discusses his signing with French Top 14 side PAU

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Joel Kpoku on his move to PAU

Lyon forward Joel Kpoku discusses his signing with French Top 14 side PAU

Henry Walker has been restored as the starting hooker in place of the benched Danny Sheahan, while the return of Sean Edogbo at blindside has resulted in the shifting of Joe Hopes up into the second row and Alan Spicer missing out. James McKillop will take over from Edogbo on the bench.

England, meanwhile, named a team showing four changes for their French trip. George Makepeace-Cubitt has been promoted for his first start at out-half with Josh Bellamy dropping to the bench.

Fixture
U20 Six Nations
Ireland U20
36 - 0
Full-time
Scotland U20
All Stats and Data

The other backline change sees the reinstalment of Ioan Jones at full-back with Ben Redshaw switching to the left wing and Alex Wills missing out.

Another first-time England starter is James Isaacs, who is chosen as hooker with Jacob Oliver moving to the bench. He is joined there among the replacements by Olamide Sodeke, who has given up his starting pace at lock to Joe Bailey.

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Ireland U20s (vs Scotland, 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. Henry Walker (Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
3. Jacob Boyd (Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
4. Joe Hopes (Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
5. Evan O’Connell (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster) (capt)
6. Sean Edogbo (UCC RFC/Munster)
7. Bryn Ward (Ballynahinch RFC/Ulster)
8. Luke Murphy (Shannon RFC/Munster)

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

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