The teams have been announced for the final round of the World Rugby U20 Championship where Ireland U20 face Georgia U20 in the 9th place positional play-off. The match takes place at the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, Tbilisi tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon with a local kick-off at 13:00, 10:00 UK/IRE.
There are a couple of changes to the Ireland U20 side that beat Samoa last time out, the bad news is that Ulster’s Peter Cooper misses out altogether, having been the provinces only starter last time out. Cooper is replaced by Charlie Connolly at tighthead with Greg McGrath benching for this one.
Gavin Coombes also drops from the starting lineup to the bench, with John Foley starting, Foley showing up for a lot of carries when he came on as a replacement against Samoa.
In the backs, it’s pretty much the same again with David McCarthy in for Ciaran Frawley, in the centre, the only change. Frawley looked to be limping when he was replaced last time out but McCarthy’s abrasive play won’t go wanting in what’s sure to be a physical challenge against a fired-up home side.
Ulster is represented on the bench by scrum half Jonny Stewart and back three replacement, Mark Keane with both expected to see game time in this encounter.
With only a win against Samoa to their credit, this has to be regarded as a disappointing tournament for the Irish youngsters, who promised so much after their rousing display against the all-conquering English side way back in March.
Injuries to, and withdrawals of, key players plus the untimely changing of the head coach have seen the campaign lack a degree of consistency. However, there can be no better game to finish the campaign off on a high than to beat the tournament hosts in front of their own support.
It’s a young squad with eleven players available for next season so hopefully, the experience won’t go to waste next season.
The FRU Predicts: I’m looking forward to this one which should be quite the occasion in front of the home crowd. However, I suspect it’ll be Ireland celebrating at the end of this one.
|Alan Tynan||15||Miriani Modebadze|
|Michael Silvester||14||Saba Svimonishvili|
|Gavin Mullin||13||Bezhani Gavashelishvili|
|David McCarthy||12||Giorgi Kvesladze|
|Calvin Nash||11||Davit Meskhi|
|Conor Dean||10||Tedo Abzhandadze|
|Jack Stafford||9||Gela Aprasidze|
|Jordan Duggan||1||Guram Gogichashvili|
|Ronan Kelleher||2||Levan Papidze|
|Charlie Connolly||3||Guram Papidze|
|Fineen Wycherley||4||Lasha Jaiani|
|Oisin Dowling||5||Koba Jimsheleishvili|
|John Foley||6||Beka Saghinadaze|
|Paul Boyle||7||Ilia Spanderashvili (C)|
|Caelan Doris||8||Arseni Machaladze|
|Adam Moloney||16||Levan Tchavtchavadze|
|Joey Conway||17||Ushangi Tcheishvili|
|Greg McGrath||18||Lasha Tabidze|
|Jack Regan||19||Tornike Jalagonia|
|Gavin Coombes||20||Sandro Mamamtavrishvili|
|Jonny Stewart||21||Luka Dvalishvili|
|Ciaran Frawley||22||Giorgi Tsiklauri|
|Mark Keane||23||Beka Mamukashvili|