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

U20 Championship: Malone shuffles the cards for Scotland clash

Ireland U20’s coach Peter Malone has made six changes to the starting XV for this win or bust match against Scotland, their second pool match in the 2017 World Rugby U20 Championship. With both teams losing their opening fixtures there is little room to manoeuvre if either side is going to place higher than eighth.

This compact and attritional tournament tends to favour those coaches that trust the full depth of their squad and Ireland’s depth is already being well-tested by injuries and withdrawals, the latest casualty being hooker Diarmuid Barron who fractured his thumb in the opening exchanges of Wednesday’s game and has been replaced by Adam Moloney, who comes straight onto the bench.

However, I’d guess that the management team were always going to mix things up in the two opening fixtures, irrespective of the results, and with a few players ruled out of the opener with niggling injuries they need to be tested now.

Unfortunately, the changes mean that there are no Ulster players starting this one, but there are three (or four) on the bench the main surprise, to me anyway, is Marcus Rea dropping out of the team altogether after a (comparatively) strong fifty minutes against the Italians.

Johnny Stewart drops to the bench for the first time in seven starts with Jack Stafford starting at scrum half. Stewart is joined on the bench by out half Angus Curtis and prop Peter Cooper and we are happy to announce the inclusion of another Ulster player in the squad now that second row Jack Regan has signed for the Ulster Academy in recent weeks.

Other changes include Alan Tynan starting at full back, with Jack Kelly moving to the wing. Jordan Duggan gets a start at loosehead with Joey Conway rested and  Caelan Doris returns to the back row.

The FRU Predicts: This has to be a five pointer for both sides so, hopefully, we will see Ireland U20’s edging a high scoring encounter.


2017 U20 World Championship, Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 AIA Arena, Kutaisi, Georgia. Kick Off 13:00 local, 10:00 UK/IRE

Alan Tynan15Blair Kinghorn
Jack Kelly14Robbie Nairn
Gavin Mullin13Ross McCann
Ciaran Frawley12Stafford McDowall
Calvin Nash11Darcy Graham
Conor Dean10Connor Eastgate
Jack Stafford9Andrew Simmers
Jordan Duggan1George Thornton
Ronan Kelleher2Fraser Renwick
Charlie Connolly3Adam Nicol
Fineen Wycherley4Alex Craig
Oisin Dowling5Callum Hunter-Hill
Sean Masterson6Bruce Flockhart
Paul Boyle7Luke Crosbie
Caelan Doris8Matt Fagerson
Adam Moloney16Robbie Smith
Greg McGrath17Fergus Bradbury
Peter Cooper18Ross Dunbar
Jack Regan19Hamish Bain
Gavin Coombes20Tom Dodd
Jonny Stewart21Charlie Shiel
Angus Curtis22Josh Henderson
Michael Silvester23Patrick Anderson

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