The teams have been announced for the U20 Six Nations clash between Italy and Ireland which takes place at Stadio Centro d’Italia, Rieti on Friday evening. Kick off 18:00 UK/Ire. Live stream on via the Irish Rugby YouTube Channel. 

As the last match wasn’t broadcast we didn’t do up a report on Ireland U20’s 5 – 24 win against Scotland U20 a fortnight ago as we only do original content on The FRU. But if you click the link above you can see the details on the IRFU site and a wee video clip.

The two Ulster lads, Banbridge’s David McCann and exile John McKee who’s at Old Belvedere/Leinster Academy, both got on with about 20 minutes remaining but unfortunately both have been omitted this time round.

Instead in comes Angus Kernoghan for his second season inthe U20’s and Kernoghan will become the only Ulster player to be named in the starting XV in this series so far. Kernoghan is joined by Callum Reid (Banbridge) who starts on the bench as replacement prop.

It’s been a poor series for Ulster representation, the lowest representation that I can remember,  and our end of series wrap is not going to read well. However, there is not a lot we can complain about as head coach Noel McNamara, who appears to have been left to his own devices this season, has put together the only unbeaten side in the championship. I know we are only going into our third game, but they are already shouldering the heavy burden of Champions Elect.

Outside ot the inclusion of Kernoghan on the wing the only other change to the starting line up is the return of scrum half Craig Casey (Shannon) after missing the Scottish game due to injury. There have been a couple of changes on the bench with Billy Scannell (Young Munster), Ronan Watters (St. Mary’s College) and Ben Healy (Garryowen) all in line to gain their first cap from the bench, alongside Reid.

U20 Six Nations after Round 2
Ireland  2 2 0 0 59 32 27 7 4 1 0 9
France 2 1 0 1 51 41 10 7 6 1 0 5
Wales 2 1 0 1 52 44 8 7 6 1 0 5
England 2 1 0 1 58 54 4 8 7 1 0 5
Italy 2 1 0 1 44 64 -20 6 9 1 0 5
Scotland 2 0 0 2 27 56 -29 4 7 0 0 0


Italy, who beat Scotland (away) and were worked over by Wales (home) have made five changes to their starting lineup from the Welsh game.  Winger Giacomo Da Re , centre Federico Mori and scrumhalf Lorenzo Citton all come into the back line with props Alongi and Marinello the only changes up front. Five changes can make a huge difference at this level so Ireland can’t afford to take anything for granted, especially as they just about scraped home against Italy in a rather chaotic game at Donnybrook last season.

However, you would expect Ireland to win this one ahead of supposedly tougher games against France and Wales in March.

Italy U20 Ireland U20
Giacomo Da Re 15 Jake Flannery
Edoardo Mastandrea 14 Angus Kernohan
Matteo Moscardi 13 Liam Turner
Federico Mori 12 David Hawkshaw
Michael Mba 11 Jonathan Wren
Paolo Garbisi 10 Harry Byrne
Lorenzo Citton 9 Craig Casey
Antoine Koffi 1 Josh Wycherley
Davide Ruggeri (c) 2 Dylan Tierney-Martin
Andrea Chianucci 3 Tom Clarkson
Thomas Parolo 4 Charlie Ryan
Nicolae Cristian Stoian 5 Niall Murray
Filippo Alongi 6 Martin Moloney
Andrej Marinello 7 Scott Penny
Matteo Drudi 8 John Hodnett
Marco Bonanni 16 Billy Scannell
Luca Franceschetto 17 Callum Reid
Matteo Nocera 18 Michael Milne
Marco Butturini 19 Brian Deeney
Manuel Zuliani 20 Ronan Watters
Gianmarco Piva 21 Cormac Foley
Damiano Mazza 22 Ben Healy
Jacopo Trulla 23 Rob Russell