Rugby – Four Limerick club players in Irish Junior World Cup squad

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Screen shot 2016-05-23 at 12.31.18IRELAND U/20 Head Coach Nigel Carolan has named the Ireland Under-20 Squad, sponsored by PwC, for the World Rugby U20 Championship. The tournament takes place in Manchester from the 7th – 25th June.

The squad of 28 players, which will be captained by Lansdowne’s James Ryan contains 5 players who are uncapped at U20 level. Munster Academy Out-Half Bill Johnston has been added to the side, having recovered from the shoulder injury that ruled him out of the Six Nations campaign and is joined by fellow Munster players Vincent O’Brien and Evan Mintern. Leinster’s Vakh Abdaladze and David Aspil will also be looking to win their first U20s caps in Manchester.

Three of the side (Andrew Porter, Adam McBurney and Jacob Stockdale) have previous experience on the world stage as they were involved in last year’s U20 World Championships in Italy.

Ireland share Pool A with Wales, New Zealand and Georgia.

They will open their campaign against Six Nations Grand-Slam winners Wales on Tuesday 7th June in the Manchester City Academy Stadium. They then face last year’s U20 Championship winners New Zealand and their final Pool A game is against Georgia.

Speaking at the squad announcement in PwC’s offices at One Spencer Dock, Carolan said:

“We were happy with how the side progressed during the Six Nations Championship and we were pleased with how the players developed. I felt that we grew as a team over the course of the championship and that’s something we’re looking to bring to Manchester.

We are certainly in one of the toughest pools. Wales are coming off the back of a Six Nations Grand Slam and New Zealand come into the competition as defending champions while the Georgians are always a very physical side so it is a big challenge for us. However, we have a very ambitious group of players that have prepared well so we are looking forward to giving it our best shot.”

Ireland U-20 Squad (World Rugby, Under-20 Championship Squad 2016)

Forwards (16):
Andrew Porter (UCD / Leinster)
James Bollard (DUFC (Trinity College) / Leinster)
Vakh Abdaladze (Clontarf / Leinster)*
Adam McBurney (Ballymena / Ulster)
Vincent O’Brien (Cork Con / Munster)*
Conor Kenny (Buccaneers / Connacht)
Benn Betts (Young Munster / Munster)
Cillian Gallagher (Sligo / Connacht)
James Ryan (Lansdowne / Leinster) (Capt.)
Sean O’Connor (Cashel / Munster)
Evan Mintern (Cork Con / Munster)*
Greg Jones (UCD / Leinster)
Will Connors (UCD / Leinster)
Max Deegan (Lansdowne / Leinster)
Kelvin Brown (Shannon / Munster)
David Aspil (UCD / Leinster)*

Backs (12):
Stephen Kerins (Sligo / Connacht)
Niall Saunders (Epsom College)
Bill Johnston (Garryowen / Munster)*
Johnny McPhillips (QUB / Ulster)
Conor O’Brien (Clontarf / Leinster)
Shane Daly (Cork Con / Munster)
Jimmy O’Brien (UCD / Leinster
Paul Kiernan (UCC / Munster)
Jacob Stockdale (Belfast Harlequins / Ulster)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s / Leinster)
Hugo Keenan (UCD / Leinster)
Matthew Byrne (Terenure / Leinster)

*Denotes uncapped player at U20 level

Not Considered due to injury:
Conan O’Donnell (Sligo / Connacht)
Shane Fenton (Young Munster / Munster)
Peter Claffey (Galwegians / Connacht)
Sam Arnold (Ballynahinch / Ulster)
Jack Power (UCD / Leinster)

Ireland U20 World Rugby Championship Fixtures
Pool A
Wales v Ireland
Manchester City Academy Stadium
Tuesday 7th June, 2016
KO: 17:30

New Zealand v Ireland
Manchester City Academy Stadium
Saturday 11th June, 2016
KO: 13:30

Ireland v Georgia
Manchester City Academy Stadium
Wednesday 15th June, 2016
KO: 17:30

Semi-Finals
Manchester City Academy Stadium OR AJ Bell Stadium, Salford
Monday 20th June 2016

Play-Offs
Manchester City Academy Stadium OR AJ Bell Stadium, Salford
Saturday 25th June 2016

Ireland’s Pool A fixtures will be shown live on TG4.
The tournament will also be shown on Sky Sports and streamed via World Rugby