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2016-17 International Rugby U20 Ireland U20 Italy U20 World Rugby U20 Championship

U20 Championship: Teams up for Ireland v Italy

The teams have been announced for Ireland U20’s opening match, against Italy U20’s, in the 2017 World Rugby U20 Championship which kicks off in Georgia tomorrow afternoon. KO12:30 UK/IRE.

Ireland U20 came away with a one-point win in the U20 Six Nations but it was a bit of a steal with the Italian pack having the better of their Irish counterparts. There are 12 Italian and 11 Irish players from that match in these squads so Ireland should expect another working over up front and hope their backs are sharp enough to steal a few points.

Last time round Ireland had Ulster’s Johnny McPhillip at out half and he did well to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Unfortunately, with McPhillips and other key players Bill Johnston, Jordan Larmour, Tommy O’Brien and Tadgh McElroy missing, for a variety of reasons, it will be a tough opener for Ireland with uncapped players Conor Dean and Diarmuid Barron starting in the key positions of out half and hooker respectively.

The good news from our point of view is that all four Ulster players are in the squad. Queen’s players Jonny Stewart starts at scrum half, and Marcus Rea gets an early chance to stake a claim in a competitive back row with a start at blindside.

Having recovered from a shoulder injury Quins Peter Cooper starts from the bench as tighthead replacement and Queen’s Angus Curtis benches as outhalf/center replacement. We expect all players to get a run out in what should be a physical game.

In fact, five games in 18 days make this an attritional tournament full stop and it’s something of a worry that Ireland have had to dig deep into the U19’s to pull a squad together but it’s also a fantastic opportunity for these youngsters to make a name for themselves against the best of their peers.

The FRU Predicts. Key players missing and a new management team for Ireland U20’s means this is a difficult game to forecast but we’ll start positively and go for a win for our boys, but it should be close.

IRELAND U20ITALY U20
Jack Kelly15Massimo Cioffi
Colm Hogan14Andrea De Masi
Gavin Mullin13Dario Schiabel
Ciaran Frawley12Marco Zanon
Calvin Nash11Giovanni D’Onofrio
Conor Dean*10Antonio Rizzi
Jonny Stewart9Charly Trussardi
Joey Conway1Danilo Fischetti
Diarmuid Barron *2Massimo Ceciliani
Charlie Connolly3Mark Riccioni
Fineen Wycherley4Niccolo Cannone
Oisin Dowling5Edoardo Iachizzi
Marcus Rea6Jacopo Bianchi
Paul Boyle7Lorenzo Masselli
Gavin Coombes8Giovanni Licata
   
Ronan Kelleher16Alberto Rollero
Greg McGrath17Daniele Rimpelli
Peter Cooper18Dante Gavrilita
Jack Regan19Lodovico Manni
Sean Masterson20Michele Lamaro
Jack Stafford21Matteo Panunzi
Angus Curtis*22Filippo Di Marco
Alan Tynan *23Andrea Bronzini
* Uncapped Player

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