MIKE RUDDOCK, COACH of Ireland’s under 20 side, has named a 28 strong squad for this summer’s Junior World Championship.
The majority of the contingent who will travel to South Africa next month is made up of the squad which lost out on a Six Nations Grand Slam to England.
Ulster’s starting fly-half, Paddy Jackson, is once again expected to pull the strings and all his experience will be vital if ireland are to progress from a group containing England, Italy and the hosts, South Africa.
Fresh from scoring against Munster in the Pro12, Jackson’s provincial team-mate, Iain Henderson will provide some grunt to the second-row, reverting there after enjoying a stint on the blind-side for his province.
“We are coming into the IRB Junior World Championship on the back of a relatively successful Six Nations having won four out of five of our matches.” Said Ruddock after naming his travelling party, “This gives us some confidence going into the tournament.”
“However,” added the former Welsh boss, ”we are in an extremely physical group. It will require a massive effort from our part to overcome such physical size and power but we intend to give it our best shot.”
Ireland will begin their Pool B campaign against Boks on June 4 and must ready themselves for some quick turnarounds between matches. First, to face England on June 8 before meeting Italy on June 12, hopefully, with a spot in the semi-finals at stake.
All of Ireland’s pool matches will take place in Stellenbosch, one of only two venues at the Championship.
Ireland U20 squad:
Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne /Leinster), Shane Buckley (Garryowen/Munster), Jake Cawley (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Jordon Coghlan (UCD/Leinster), Sam Coghlan Murray (UCD/Leinster), Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Aaron Conneely (Corinthians/Connacht), Barry Daly (UCD/Leinster), Chris Farrell (Dungannon/Ulster), Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster), Conor Gilsenan (UCD/Mullingar /Leinster), J.J. Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster), Iain Henderson (Queens University /Ulster).
Foster Horan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster), Shane Layden (Buccaneers /Connacht). Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht), Cathal Marsh (Trinity College /Leinster). Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster), Des Merry (Clontarf/Leinster). Peter Nelson (Dungannon/Ulster), Alan O’Connor (UCD/Leinster). Stuart Olding (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), James Rael (Garryowen/Munster). Peter Reilly (Lansdowne/Leinster), Niall Scannell (Dolphin RFC/Munster). Mikey Sherlock (Clontarf/Leinster), Josh Van Der Flier (UCD/Leinster).