The teams have been announced for the 9 – 12 place semi-final between Ireland U20 and Samoa U20 in the 2017 World Rugby U20 Championship. The match takes place at the Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi, kick off 13:00 local, 10:00 UK/IRE.
It’s been a difficult tournament for the Irish youngsters, and the attrition of this tournament has taken its toll with Marcus Rea (shoulder), Jack Kelly (ankle), Sean Masterson (ankle), Conor Fitzgerald (ankle) and Liam Coombes (thigh) all sent home after the loss to New Zealand.
Mark Keane – wing (Instonians/Ulster), Cormac Daly – back row (Navan/Leinster), Luke Carty – out-half (Buccaneers/Connacht) have all travelled out to Georgia through Ulster’s Keane, who had an impressive game for Ulster against the Barbarians recently, is the only one of the new arrivals in the squad for Samoa.
Keane is joined on the bench by fellow Ulster players Jonny Stewart and Jack Regan with Peter Cooper the province’s only start this time round with the Quins player starting at tighthead.
However, with this expected to be yet another abrasive game, my guess is that the bench will get plenty of game time.
To put some perspective on this match, this is the one that Ireland really need to win. They do not want to be going into the finals on Sunday facing a relegation play-off against an impressive Argentina or, the hosts, Georgia.
The FRU Predicts: It’s been a difficult tournament and the team face another physical encounter against Samoa but the back row of Coombes, Boyle and Doris should provide enough ball for Ireland to win this one in a high scoring match.
|Alan Tynan||15||Ricky Ene|
|Michael Silvester||14||Darren Moore|
|Gavin Mullin||13||Tanielu Trle’a|
|Ciaran Frawley||12||Kerrod Foaese|
|Calvin Nash||11||Alexander Pohla-Murphy|
|Jack Stafford||9||Howard Tagoai|
|Jordan Duggan||1||Setu Enoka|
|Ronan Kelleher||2||Noel Sanft (C)|
|Peter Cooper||3||Afioga Ielemia|
|Fineen Wycherley||4||Theodore Solipo|
|Oisin Dowling||5||Julius Togafau|
|Gavin Coombes||6||Francis Ah Him|
|Paul Boyle (C)||7||Caleb Faalili|
|Caelan Doris||8||Sione Tu’ipolotu|
|Adam Moloney||16||Petelo Ikenasio|
|Joey Conway||17||Suetena Asomua|
|Charlie Connolly||18||Frank Tupuola|
|Jack Regan||19||Peonard Solomona|
|John Foley||20||Peato Toeafe|
|Jonny Stewart||21||Wyatt Setu|
|David McCarthy||22||Pupi Ah See|
|Mark Keane||23||Foto Tinei|