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2016-17 International Rugby U20 Ireland U20 Scotland U20 Six Nations Under 20

McPhillips and Stewart to start for Ireland U20’s.

The teams were announced earlier this afternoon for the Scotland U20 v Ireland U20 match which takes place at Broadwood Stadium on Friday night. The match kicks off at 20:30, immediately after the Women’s game, and both matches will be streamed live on Scottish Rugby TV

Four Ulster players have made the cut and I’m particularly pleased to see Jonny Stewart and Johnny McPhillips as the halfbacks after the pair showed good form for Ulster A in the last two B&I Cup pool matches. Ulster A prop Peter Cooper also starts and Marcus Rea will be looking to get a run out from the bench. Unfortunately for Ireland U20’s it looks like the highly rated duo of Ulster’s Rob Lyttle and Munster’s Calvin Nash are carrying knocks and aren’t considered for this one. 

On recent history you would expect Ireland to take this one. Ireland won the corresponding fixture last season to finish 3rd to Scotland’s 4th in last seasons championship plus, of course Ireland’s 2nd place finish in the 2016 World Rugby U20 Championship compares very favourably to Scotland’s 8th place. However, the exciting thing about these age grade fixtures is that it really is a new team every season. 

The downside for Ireland is that this is the first season that they have done away with the U20 Interprovincials, the good news is that the youngsters have been generally playing at a higher standard in the B&I Cup and above. Those on the periphery of the provincial A teams, like Ulster’s Marcus Rea, may struggle to bridge the gap with comparitively more experienced players. It’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out. 

The FRU Predicts: Notorious for slow starts in these competitions, Ireland might just hit this season’s competition at full speed thanks to the bulk of the players playing at a generally higher standard. Ireland to win with a degree of comfort. 

SCOTLAND IRELAND
Darcy Graham15Jack Kelly
Robbie Nairn14Jordan Larmour
Craig Pringle13Gavin Mullin
Cameron Hutchison12Ciaran Frawley
Ross McCann11Colm Hogan
Josh Henderson10Johnny McPhillips
Andrew Simmers9Jonny Stewart
George Thornton1Joey Conway
Fraser Renwick2Tadgh McElroy
Adam Nicol3Peter Cooper
Alex Craig4Fineen Wycherley
Callum Hunter-Hill5Oisin Dowling
Luke Crosbie6Cillian Gallagher
Matt Fagerson7Paul Boyle
Tom Dodd8Caelan Doris
   
Robbie Smith16Adam Moloney
Daniel Winning17Rory Mulvihill
Fergus Bradbury18Charlie Connolly
Hamish Bain19Jack Regan
Jamie Ure20Marcus Rea
Bruce Flockhart21Jack Lyons
Charlie Shiel22Conor Fitzgerald
Stafford McDowall23Tommy O’Brien

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