Thank’s to Bob Given digging out some of his old pictures we have new coverage of the The IRB 2007 U19 Rugby World Championship held in Northern Ireland between the 4th and 21st April 2007.
The Tournament was split into two divisions of twelve teams. Division A games took place in Belfast at Belfast Harlequins’ Deramore Park, Ulster Rugby’s Ravenhill Stadium, and Cooke RFC/Instonians’ Shaw’s Bridge complex. Division B games were held in Queen’s University of Belfast’s The Dub complex and Malone RFC’s Gibson Park in Belfast, and Bangor RFC’s Upritchard Park in Bangor.
The Ireland U19 team taking part featured seven Ulster players in Matthew Nelson (Ballynahinch), Paul Karayianis (RBAI/Queens), Stephen Douglas (Ballymena), Adam Craig (Instonians), Harry McAleese (Ballynahinch RFC), Jamie Smith (Ballymena) and Tommy Seymour (Down High School).
The 2007 Ireland U19 Squad
Forwards (14) Brian Cawley (UCD) David Foley (U.L. Bohemians) Ian Leonard (St. Michael’s College) Ian Nagle (Glenstal Abbey) Jason Harris-Wright (Blackrock College) Kieran Essex (CBC Cork/UCC) Matthew Nelson (Ballynahinch) Michael Sherry (Garryowen) Patrick Mallon (St. Michael’s College) Patrick McCabe (Dublin University) Paul Karayianis (RBAI/Queens) Paul Ryan (C) (Blackrock College) Rajan Riley (St. Michael’s College) Stephen Douglas (Ballymena)
Backs (11) Adam Craig (Instonians) Alan Gaughan (Buccaneers) Conor Cleary (St. Michael’s College) Eoin O’Malley (UCD) Harry McAleese (Ballynahinch) Jamie Smith (Ballymena) Kris Greene (St. Mary’s College) Murray Kinsella (Newtown School) Niall Morris (Blackrock College) Paddy Brophy (St. Michael’s College) Scott Deasy (PBC Cork) Tommy Seymour (Down High School)
Coaching Staff Coach: Charlie McAleese. Manager: Gerard Slattery. Assistant Coach: Bobby Byrne. Defence Coach: Kurt McQuilkan. Physiotherapist: Shane Collins. Physiotherapist: Josh Hoopes. Doctor: Tim O’Flanagan. Fitness Advisor: Ray Egan. Technical Advisor: Derek Suffern.
It was something of a convoluted occasion as they ran two tournaments side by side and it wasn’t a particularly successful one for Ireland U20 who finished ninth after losing to Australia and South Africa in the Pool stages.
Ireland did, however, beat Scotland in their pool match which left them facing Japan in the 9th place play off bracket. They recorded a 31 – 1 win over Japan at Shaws Bridge setting up a rematch with Scotland at Ravenhill in the finals day where they recorded a resounding 34 – 0 win.
Ireland U19 Fixtures and Results
Ireland U19 Fixtures and Results – IRB 2007 U19 World Championship
New Zealand ended up as champions after progressing through the championship undefeated. The Baby Blacks recorded wins against Wales, Japan and England in the pool stages before defeating Wales for the second time in the semifinal.
This set New Zealand up with a final against South Africa at Ravenhill which they duly won 31 – 7.
Other interesting titbits are that Leigh Halfpenny (Wales) ended up the tournaments leading scorer with 57 points and future Ulster player Henry Speight was Fiji’s leading scorer with 25 points.
This was the last U19 Championship the tournament switching to the IRB U20 Junior World Championship and the IRB U20 Junior World Trophy the following season.