Ireland U20 competed in the 2010 U20 Six Nations Championship in February and March and the 2010 IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina in June.
We have taken advantage of our site cleanup to review our historical coverage of international and provincial sides over the last 10 years. This article was written on Wednesday, 20th January 2020 and has been entered retrospectively into the appropriate timeline.
2010 U20 Six Nations
Ireland U20 were crowned U20 Six Nations Champions for the first time in 2010 after winning four of their five fixtures.
- 5 February 2010. Ireland 39–0 Italy, Dubarry Park
- 12 February 2010. France 20–15 Ireland, Mazamet
- 27 February 2010. England 10–25 Ireland, Gloucester RFC
- 2 March 2010. Ireland 24–17 Wales, Dubarry Park
- 19 March 2010. Ireland 44–15 Scotland, Dubarry Park
Head coach Allen Clarke used 26 players over the Six Nations. This included four Ulster players in James McKinney, Michael Heaney, Nevin Spence and Niall Annett all of whom appeared in all five squads throughout the tournament.
Ireland scored 147 points throughout the tournament. The points came from 17 tries, 13 conversions (76% conversion rate) and 12 penalties.
Ulster’s McKinney was the leading points scorer with the Queen’s out half having the main kicking duties. Leinster duo Andrew Conway and Darren Hudson topped the try scoring with four tries each over the five games.
2010 IRB Junior World Championship
The 2010 JWC was played on Argentina with Ireland based in Rosario in Pool B alongside England, France, and hosts, Argentina. As reigning Six Nations Champions they were expecting a strong tournament but they lost all three pool games.
This placed them in the bottom four playoffs, in Parana, where they beat Samoa and Scotland for a 9th place finish.
- 5 June 2010. France 25 – 22 Ireland, Estadio Newell’s Old Boys, Rosario
- 9 June 2010. England 32 – 21 Ireland, Estadio Newell’s Old Boys, Rosario
- 13 June 2010 Ireland 21 – 24 Argentina, Estadio Newell’s Old Boys, Rosario
- 17 June 2010 Ireland 37 – 10 Samoa, Club Atlético Estudiantes, Paraná
- 21 June 2010 Ireland 53 – 23 Scotland, Club Atlético Estudiantes, Paraná
1. New Zealand, 2. Australia, 3. South Africa, 4. England, 5. France, 6. Argentina, 7. Wales, 8. Fiji, 9. Ireland, 10. Scotland, 11. Tonga, 12. Samoa.
Clarke used 29 players throughout the World Championships with Brian Kingston, Duncan Casey, Gareth Quinn McDonogh, Ric Byrne and Tiernan O’Halloran dropping out of the squad and Andrew Boyle, Brian O’Hara, David McSharry, Denis Buckley, Jordi Murphy, Martin Moore, Mike Kelleher and Noel Reid coming in.
The Ulster representation remained the same with McKinney, Heaney, Spence and Annett all included.
Ireland scored 154 points throughout the tournament with the points coming from 17 tries, 12 conversions (71% conversion rate) and 15 penalties.
McKinney remained the leading scorer with Leinster’s Reid coming in for the later matches to knock over 29 points from the boot on top of a try.
Conway is once again the leading try scorer with 5 tries over the five games.
It’s an early indication of the Ireland U20 management team priorities with an outstanding Six Nations, where they lifted the championship for the first time, somewhat dampened by their performance on the world stage.
Their points pick up was 80% in the Six Nations and 48% in the JWC giving an average of 64% for the season with 6 wins and 4 bonus points from the 10 games played. (Note. No bonus points were awarded during the Six Nations).
There were 34 players used throughout the season with three, Conway, Annett and Paddy Butler, starting every game. Another six, Dominic Ryan, John Cooney, McKinney, Bryan Cagney, Eoin Griffin and Heaney appeared in all 10 squads.
Unsurprisingly, McKinney ended the season as the leading scorer with 96 points from 15 conversions and 22 penalties and Conway was the leading try scorer with 9 tries over the 10 games.
Leinster made the biggest contribution supplying 18 players to the squads, Munster were next with 9 followed by Ulster on 4 and Connacht on 3.
The percentage contributions of each Province over the 10 games, in terms of squad appearances and points scored is shown below.