Limerick’s Daniel Okeke among Murphy”s 34-man Ireland Squad For U20 Six Nations

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HEAD Coach Richie Murphy has named a 34-man Ireland squad to travel to the upcoming 2021 U20 Six Nations Championship in Cardiff, including six players who were involved in last year’s championship.

Munster back row Alex Kendellen has been appointed captain ahead of Ireland’s opening fixture against Scotland at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday. Kendellen has already made his debut for Munster when he lined out against Scarlets in March.

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Alex Soroka and Tim Corkery, have also made their senior Leinster debuts and are two of six players involved at this age-grade for a second season, alongside Ulster duo Conor McKee and Ben Moxham, Connacht’s Cathal Forde and Ben Murphy of Leinster.

Head Coach Murphy, and his Assistant Coaches Colm Tucker and Denis Leamy, are excited about the strength in depth and overall dynamic of this year’s group having had to make a number of tough selection decisions after a series of squad camps at the IRFU High Performance Centre in recent weeks.

Commenting on his squad selection, Murphy said: “We have been working hard for a number of weeks and it’s an exciting time for these young players, who have the honour of representing the wider group in Cardiff.”

“It has been a challenging year but the players have come in, worked hard and bonded well, and I have been impressed by their work-rate, commitment and application. Now our focus turns to performance and Saturday’s opening game against Scotland, which we know will be a big challenge first up.” He added.

Also in the squad is Limerick’s Daniel Okeke, who has also been selected to travel as part of the squad. Okeke represented Ardscoil Rís at schools level and is now turning heads for both Shannon RFC and Munster.

28 May 2021; Daniel Okeke of Ireland U20 is tackled by Marcus Kiely of Leinster A during the match between Ireland U20 and Leinster A at Energia Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Ireland kick off the Six Nations against Scotland on Saturday week, before facing hosts Wales in Round 2 on Friday, 25 June (Kick-off 8pm).

Murphy’s side will then go head-to-head with England on Thursday, 1 July (Kick-off 8pm) and their Championship will conclude with ties against Italy on Wednesday, 7th July (Kick-off 2pm) and France on Thursday, 13th July (Kick-off 4.45pm).

Ireland Squad for 2021 U20 Six Nations:
Forwards:

George Saunderson (Sullivan Upper School/Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
Jack Boyle (St Michael’s College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
Temi Asewunmi Lasisi (CBS Enniscorthy/Lansdowne FC/Leinster)
Mark Donnelly (CBC Cork/Garryowen RFC/Munster)
Eoin de Buitléar (Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiáran/An Ghaeltacht/Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
Lee Barron (St Michael’s College/Dublin University FC/Leinster)
Ronan Loughnane (Cistercian College Roscrea/UCD RFC/Leinster)
Sam Illo (Wesley College/Old Wesley RFC/Leinster)
Darragh Murray (Colaiste Chiaran/Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
Harry Sheridan (Sullivan Upper School/Dublin University FC/Ulster)
Mark Morrisey (Blackrock College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
Alex Soroka (Belvedere College/Clontarf RFC/Leinster)
Oisin McCormack (Garbally College/Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
Alex Kendellen (PBC Cork/UCC RFC/Munster)(Captain)
Reuben Crothers (Wallace High School/Ballynahinch RFC/Ulster)
Donnacha Byrne (Summerhill College/Sligo RFC/Connacht)
Jack Kelleher (PBC Cork/UCC RFC/Munster)
Daniel Okeke (Ard Scoil Ris/Shannon RFC/Munster)
Liam Bishop (Trent College/Nottingham University/IQ Rugby)

Backs:

Conor McKee (Sullivan Upper School/Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
Nathan Doak (Wallace High School/Banbridge RFC/Ulster)
Ben Murphy (Presentation College Bray/Old Wesley RFC/Leinster)
Tim Corkery (Kilkenny College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
James Humphreys (Dean Close School/Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
Cathal Forde (Colaiste Iognaid/Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
Ben Carson (Wallace High School/Banbridge RFC/Ulster)
Shane Jennings (Garbally College/Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
Ben Moxham (Larne High School/Ballymena RFC/Ulster)
Conor Rankin (Campbell College Belfast/Ballynahinch RFC/Ulster)
Chay Mullins (SGC Filton/Bristol Bears/IQ Rugby)
Josh O’Connor (St Peter’s College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
Jamie Osborne (Naas CBS/Naas RFC/Leinster)
Chris Cosgrave (St Michael’s College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
Jude Postlethwaite (RBAI/Banbridge RFC/Ulster).

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