2013 was a mixed season for Ireland U20’s. In the Six Nations they beat England and France at Dubarry Park but failed to record a win on the road losing to Wales and Scotland and drawing with Italy leaving them with a 3rd place finish. In the 2013 IRB Junior World Championship they won their first two games but lost the next three for a disappointing 8th place finish.
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 Monday 22nd February 2021 and has been entered retrospectively into the appropriate timeline.
2013 U20 Six Nations
It was one of the stranger Six Nations tournaments for Ireland U20’s who, despite beating the historical “big two”, England and France, in Athlone, lost to Wales and Scotland and drew with Italy on the road. The first three games were very tight and could have went either way.
- Fri 3rd Feb 2013. Wales 15 Ireland 13, Eirias Stadium.
- Fri 8th Feb 2013. Ireland 16 England 15, Dubarry Park.
- Fri 22nd Feb 2013. Scotland 21 Ireland 20, Netherdale.
- Fri 8th Mar 2013. Ireland 22 France 5, Dubarry Park.
- Fri 15th Mar 2013. Italy 25 Ireland 25, Stadio di Avezzano.
Head coach Mike Ruddock used a total of 33 players during the Six Nations. this was 6 more than the previous season and the squad suffered for the second season with players being withdrawn by their clubs with Robbie Henshaw and Stuart Olding pulled from a few squads.
There were 3 exiled players used with Alex O’Meara (Hartpury), George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons) and Ryan Furniss (Worcester Warriors) all looked at.
It was a comparatively strong turn out for Ulster with 7 Ulster players used along with Belfast Harlequin’s Olding. Malone provided Chris Taylor, Conor Joyce, Jake Caulfield and John Creighton, Ballymena provided John Andrew, Ballynahinch John Donnan and Belfast Harlequins supplied Rory Scholes alongside Olding.
|Rory Scholes||Belfast Harlequins||Ulster||5||0||5|
|Josh van der Flier||UCD||Leinster||3||2||5|
|George McGuigan||Newcastle Falcons||Exile||4||0||4|
|Steve Crosbie||Old Belvedere||Leinster||4||0||4|
|Ryan Furniss||Worcester Warriors||Exile||1||3||4|
|Stuart Olding||Belfast Harlequins||Ulster||2||0||2|
|Jerry Sexton||St Mary’s College||Leinster||0||2||2|
Ireland finished the tournament with a 15 point surplus, scoring 98 points and conceding 73 in this tight competition. Their points came from 10 tries, 6 conversions (60% conversion rate) and 12 penalties.
Leinster’s Tom Daly was the main kicker picking up 35 points from the boot to add to a try. Munster’s Rory Scannell also picked up 13 points from the boot. David Panter and Scholes lead the try scoring with 2 each. There was also one penalty try awarded to Ireland during the tournament.
2013 IRB Junior World Championship
The 2013 IRB Junior World championship was held in France. Ireland were placed in Pool B in the alongside new Zealand, Australia and Fiji. They started the competition well with wins against Australia and Fuji but a defeat by New Zealand in the final pool game saw Ireland fail to qualify for the Top 4 on points difference, for the second year running.
Ireland lost to hosts France in a dour game in the 5th place play off semi final and Australia overturned their pool defeat by beating Ireland in the 7th place final which left Ireland in 8th place.
Once again Ireland U20’s were without their big guns with Robbie Henshaw and Stuart Olding selected for a senior tour of Canada and the USA.
- Wed 5th Jun 2013. Ireland 19 Australia 15, Stade de la Rabine, Vannes.
- Sun 9th Jun 2013. Ireland 46 Fiji 3, Stade de la Rabine, Vannes.
- Thu 13th Jun 2013. New Zealand 31 Ireland 26, Stade de la Rabine, Vannes.
- Tue 18th Jun 2013. Ireland 8 France 9, Stade de la Rabine, Vannes.
- Sun 23rd Jun 2013. Australia 28 Ireland 17, Stade Henri Desgranges, La Roche-sur-Yon.
1. England, 2. Wales, 3. South Africa, 4. New Zealand, 5. France, 6. Argentina, 7. Australia, 8. Ireland, 9. Samoa, 10. Scotland, 11. Fiji, 12. USA.
There were 29 players used in the JWC, the squad seeing substantial changes to the one used in the Six Nations. Out went O’Meara, Scott, Masterson, Quinn, Caulfield, Sexton, Andrew, Creighton, Dooley, Henshaw and Olding and in came Adam Byrne, Alex Wootton, Dan Leavy, Edward Byrne, Jack O’Donoghue, Peter Dooley and Thomas Farrell.
|Rory Scholes||Belfast Harlequins||Ulster||5||0||5|
|Steve Crosbie||Old Belvedere||Leinster||5||0||5|
|Josh van der Flier||UCD||Leinster||4||1||5|
|George McGuigan||Newcastle Falcons||Exile||2||3||5|
|Ryan Furniss||Worcester Warriors||Exile||0||3||3|
|Alex Wootton||Northampton Saints||Exile||2||0||2|
|Jack O’Donoghue||UL Bohemian||Munster||1||1||2|
Ireland U20 scored a total of 116 points throughout the tournament and conceded 86. The points came from 12 tries, 4 conversions (33% conversion rate) and 16 penalties.
An early injury to Daly saw Scannell take over kicking duties and the munster man ended the tournament as Irelands leading scorer with 31 points. Ulster’s Scholes ended the tournament as the leading try scorer, picking up four tries in the five games.
It was a comparatively poor season for Ireland U20’s results wise with a 47% points pick up over the 10 games. However, with a few extra points here and there they could have matched the previous season’s highs.
They ended the season with a 50% points pick up in the Six Nations and a 44% points pick up in the World Championship.
There were 39 players used throughout the season including 4 exiles as Ruddock attempted to spread the net having been denied players in Ireland.
Only one player, Scholes, started all the games but a further four, Doonan, Luke McGrath, Scannell and Josh van der Flier were involved in all 10 squads.
|Rory Scholes||Belfast Harlequins||Ulster||10||0||10||6||30|
|Josh van der Flier||UCD||Leinster||7||3||10||0|
|Steve Crosbie||Old Belvedere||Leinster||9||0||9||0|
|George McGuigan||Newcastle Falcons||Exile||6||3||9||0|
|Ryan Furniss||Worcester Warriors||Exile||1||6||7||0|
|Alex Wootton||Northampton Saints||Exile||2||0||2||0|
|Stuart Olding||Belfast Harlequins||Ulster||2||0||2||0|
|Jack O’Donoghue||UL Bohemian||Munster||1||1||2||0|
|Jerry Sexton||St Mary’s College||Leinster||0||2||2||1||5|
Despite picking up an injury in the World championship Tom Daly ended the season as the leading points scorer with 65 points from a try, 6 conversions and 16 penalties. Rory Scholes was the leading try scorer with 6 tries from the 10 games.
Leinster once again topped the player contributions, supplying 16 players to the squads. Ulster were next with 8 players, Munster with 6, Connacht with 5 and 4 Exiles.
Ulster’s contribution remained at 26% actual starts with Leinster out in front with 44% starts. Despite contributing 38% of all tries Ulster’s points contribution dropped to 19% with Leinster and Munster players taking over the kicking duties.