Ireland U20 name team to face Wales

Date published: June 6 2016

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Ireland U20 head coach Nigel Carolan has named his team to face Wales in Pool A of the World Rugby U20 Championship in Manchester on Tuesday.

Captained by Lansdowne and Leinster 'A' second row James Ryan, Ireland's matchday squad contains four players who are uncapped at U20 level.

Back-row David Aspil and Garryowen fly-half Bill Johnston will win their first U20 caps when they run out, while front-row forwards Vincent O'Brien and Vakh Abdaladaze will be looking to make their debuts off the bench.

Fellow front rowers Andrew Porter and Adam McBurney will be appearing in their second World Rugby U20 Championship, having played in last summer's tournament in Italy. Tighthead Conor Kenny completes the front row.

Captain Ryan is partnered in the second row by Sligo's Cillian Gallagher, who moves into the number four jersey having played at flanker during this year's Six Nations.

The back row is comprised of newcomer Aspil, number eight Max Deegan and Greg Jones.

Scrum-half Stephen Kerins partners Johnston at halfback, with Conor O'Brien and Shane Daly renewing their centre partnership from the Six Nations campaign.

The back-three features Ulster full-back Jacob Stockdale, who is the third member of the squad appearing at his second U20 Championship, and wingers Matthew Byrne and Hugo Keenan.

Speaking ahead of the opening Pool A fixture, head coach Carolan said: "The game against Wales is a hugely important test for this team and we've been building towards it since we came together as a squad a number of weeks ago. Wales are the Grand Slam champions so it's going to be a challenging game, but one the players are looking forward to.

"There's a good mix to the team that's been selected – the likes of Andrew, Adam and Jacob were here last year and can bring that experience into the squad, while there will also be some players winning new caps and we're looking forward to seeing what they can do in the green jersey."

The match, which will be broadcast live on TG4 and Sky Sports 1, kicks off at 5.30pm and will be refereed by New Zealand's Paul Williams.

Ireland U20: 15 Jacob Stockdale, 14 Matthew Byrne, 13 Shane Daly, 12 Conor O'Brien, 11 Hugo Keenan, 10 Bill Johnston, 9 Stephen Kerins, 8 Max Deegan, 7 David Aspil, 6 Greg Jones, 5 James Ryan (c), 4 Cillian Gallagher, 3 Conor Kenny, 2 Adam McBurney, 1 Andrew Porter 
Replacements: 16 Vincent O'Brien, 17 Vakh Abdaladze, 18 Ben Betts, 19 Sean O'Connor, 20 Kelvin Brown, 21 John Poland, 22 Johnny McPhillips, 23 Jimmy O'Brien

Date: Tuesday, June 7
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium, Salford
Kick-off: 17:30 BST (16:30 GMT)

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