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2015-16 International Rugby U20 Ireland U20 New Zealand U20 World Rugby U20 Championship

2016 U20 WRC: Teams up for Ireland v New Zealand

Nigel Carolan has made one, enforced, change to the Ireland U20’s side for their second Pool A match in the 2016 World Rugby U20 Championship, against New Zealand. The match kicks of on Saturday at 1:30pm and will be live on Sky Sports and TG4. 

Munster’s Ben Betts moves from the bench to the starting line up, slotting in at tight-head, with Leinster’s James Bollard taking his place on the bench. 

Adam McBurney and Jacob Stockdale remain Ulster’s only starters with Johnny McPhillips hoping to get a run out from the bench. The two starting Ulster players did particularly well, both making the World Rugby Match Day 1 Dream Team alongside Andrew Porter, James Ryan and Max Deegan, giving Ireland by far and away the largest representation. 

Just what this will mean against New Zealand, the current World Champions, is hard to say as the Baby Blacks cruised comfortably past Georgia, scoring nine tries in their 55 – 0 win. 

Such is the reputation of the “Baby Blacks” it did cross my mind that Carolan might field a different side, particularly given the brutal nature of this tournament, but I’m pleased to see that they are going for it with all guns blazing in their effort to be only the second Irish side, at this level, to reach the last four. 

Ireland will need to go into this match fully switched on, they certainly can’t make as bad a start as they did against Wales. I suspect if they are going to get anything out of this game they will need to take a lead into the second half in what will need to be an 80 minute performance.

Forgetting the euphoria of their magnificent comeback against Wales it has to be pointed out that the backs were brutal for the first 30 minutes and a big improvement is needed as the forwards will not be able to carry them for two tough games in five days. However if the backs stay sharp from the off there is a chance of another remarkable upset. 

The FRU Predicts: It’s hard not to get carried away after the match against Wales but I’m going to temper my judgement and predict a narrow win for the All Blacks in a high scoring game. Ireland to pick up two points however from a losing bonus and a try bonus which should be enough for a top four finish!

Teams

NEW ZEALAND IRELAND
COLIN JOHNSTONE1ANDREW PORTER
LENI APISAI2ADAM MCBURNEY
SOSEFO KAUTAI3BEN BETTS
QUINTEN STRANGE4CILLIAN GALLAGHER
ISAIA WALKER-LEAWERE5JAMES RYAN (C)
LUKE JACOBSON6GREG JONES
MITCHELL JACOBSON7DAVID ASPIL
MARINO MIKAELE TU’U8MAX DEEGAN
SAM NOCK9STEPHEN KERINS
STEPHEN PEROFETA10BILL JOHNSTON
MALO TUITAMA11HUGO KEENAN
JORDIE BARRETT12CONOR O’BRIEN
PATELESIO TOMKINSON13SHANE DALY
SHAUN STEVENSON14MATTHEW BYRNE
JORDAN TRAINOR15JACOB STOCKDALE
   
ASAFO AUMUA16VINCENT O’BRIEN
SEAN PARANIHI17JAMES BOLLARD
ALEX FIDOW18VAKH ABDALADZE
HAMISH DALZELL19SEAN O’CONNOR
DALTON PAPALI’I20KELVIN BROWN
JONATHAN TAUMATEINE21NIALL SAUNDERS
TENNESSEE VA’A22JOHNNY MCPHILLIPS
JONAH LOWE23JIMMY O’BRIEN

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