The Ireland U20’s squad for the World Rugby 2017 U20 World Championship was named yesterday afternoon with four Ulster players in the 28 player squad.
The Ulster contingent consists of Queen’s University’s Angus Curtis and Jonny Stewart in the backs with fellow Queen’s player Marcus Rea and Belfast Harlequins Peter Cooper in the forwards. However, it would be fair to say, the squad has been decimated by injury with key Ulster players Rob Lyttle and Johnny McPhillips missing, as are Cillian Gallagher, Bill Johnston, Jordan Larmour and Tommy O’Brien. All of these players were likely to see plenty of game time as we stated after the U20 Six Nations. The loss of Gallagher, McPhillips and Johnston particularly telling as all three were involved in last season’s tournament.
Ulster’s latest South African import, Angus Curtis, joins Leinster’s Conor Dean, Michael Silvester and Jordan Duggan who, together with Munster’s Alan Tynan, will be making their U20 debut in the tournament.
The U20’s also see a new head coach as Peter Malone steps up from forwards coach to head coach following, FRU Favourite, Nigel Carolan’s departure to the Connacht senior team coaching squad. Malone will be joined by Ulster’s Kieran Campbell as assistant coach.
All in all this Championship will be a bit of a trip into the unknown for many of the squad but it is a fantastically compact tournament and an excellent chance for players and coaches to make a name for themselves.
Ireland will play familiar foes in Italy and Scotland U20’s and will also have a second crack at New Zealand in their pool matches in Pool B which take place in Kutaisi Stadium, Kutaisi, Georgia. The Front Row Union will be there for the matches against Scotland and New Zealand and we’ll follow the team to Tbilisi, Georgia for the positional play-offs. We’ll also be travelling down to their training camp tomorrow to meet the team so we’ll save our full preview until after that.
IRELAND U20 SQUAD
2017 World Rugby Under-20 Championship, Kutaisi & Tbilisi, Georgia, May 31-June 18
|Paul Boyle (Leinster) Captain||Angus Curtis (Ulster)*|
|Charlie Connolly (Leinster)||Conor Dean (Leinster)*|
|Joey Conway (Munster)||Ciaran Frawley (Leinster)|
|Gavin Coombes (Munster)||Colm Hogan (Munster)|
|Peter Cooper (Ulster)||Jack Kelly (Leinster)|
|Caelan Doris (Leinster)||David McCarthy (Munster)*|
|Oisin Dowling (Leinster)||Gavin Mullin (Leinster)|
|Jordan Duggan (Leinster)*||Calvin Nash (Munster)|
|John Foley (Munster)||Jack Stafford (Munster)|
|Ronan Kelleher (Leinster)||Jonathon Stewart (Ulster)|
|Sean Masterson (Connacht)||Michael Silvester (Leinster)*|
|Tadgh McElroy (Leinster)||Alan Tynan (Munster)*|
|Greg McGrath (/Leinster)|
|Marcus Rea (Ulster)|
|Jack Regan (Leinster)|
|Fineen Wycherley (Munster)|