The Ireland and England teams have been announced for the Third Round match of the 2021 U20 Six Nations Tournament at Cardiff Arms on Thursday kick off 20:00.
Ireland have made only two changes to the starting XV against Wales with Temi Lasisi and Sam Illo returning to the front row, either side of hooker Ronan Loughnane. The extended replenishment panel see’s e changes with Mark Morrissey returning from injury and Jack Kelleher and Chay Mullins are brought in at the expense of Ulster duo George Saunderson and Conor Rankin.
With James Humphreys still out with concussion this leaves 7 Ulster players in the squad with Ben Moxham, Nathan Doak and Harry Sheridan all starting and Reuben Crothers, Conor McKee, Ben Carson and Jude Postlethwaite all benching.
View the Ulster Players contribution, this series to date, below.
England, who trail Ireland at the top of the Six Nations table on points difference have made an adventurous four changes to their starting XV as Charlie Atkinson (full back), Tom Litchfield (wing), Arthur Clark (second row) and Nahum Merigan (number 8) all make their first starts of this year’s competition.
I’ve had a quick look through the two teams that met in Ireland’s win in the truncated 2020 Six Nations and only Ireland’s Alex Soroka was involved so it’s a new experience for both sides who play a fairly similar forwards focused game.
It will be a test for Ireland, who should be matched up front for the first time this competition. Their edge, if any should be that they had more opportunities for get togethers over the last 16 months though the English lads had more of an opportunity for rugby with their Premiership clubs active for most of that period.
The FRU Predicts: It should be a close one and I’d guess the winner will be whichever side is the most disciplined over the 80 minutes. On that score, Ireland seem to have had the edge in recent encounters. I am worried that Ireland have been fairly blunt in attack in the back line, though excellent in defence, with only Doak and Chris Cosgrave mixing it up going forward.
Ulster duo Carson and Postlethwaite can mix it up in attack and if they get an early call from the bench they could push the game Ireland’s way.
|Jamie Osborne (Leinster)||15||Charlie Atkinson (Wasps)|
|Ben Moxham (Ulster)||14||Tom Litchfield (Northampton)|
|Shane Jennings (Connacht)||13||Jack Bates (Bristol)|
|Cathal Forde (Connacht)||12||Dan Lancaster (Leeds)|
|Chris Cosgrave (Leinster)||11||Arthur Relton (Exeter)|
|Tim Corkery (Leinster)||10||Fin Smith (Worcester )|
|Nathan Doak (Ulster)||9||Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester)(C)|
|Temi Lasisi (Leinster)||1||Phil Brantingham (Newcastle)|
|Ronan Loughnane (Leinster)||2||Sam Riley (Harlequins)|
|Sam Illo (Leinster)||3||Harvey Kindell-Beaton (Saracens)|
|Alex Soroka (Leinster)||4||Arthur Clark (Gloucester)|
|Harry Sheridan (Ulster)||5||Alex Groves (Bristol)|
|Donnacha Byrne (Connacht)||6||Ewan Richards (Bath)|
|Oisin McCormack (Connacht)||7||Jack Clement (Gloucester)|
|Alex Kendellen (Munster)(C)||8||Nahum Merigan (Bath)|
|Eoin de Buitléar (Connacht)||16||Archie Vanes (Leicester)|
|Jack Boyle (Leinster)||17||Tarek Haffar (London Irish)|
|Mark Donnelly (Munster)||18||Luke Green (London Irish)|
|Mark Morrissey (Leinster)||19||Freddie Thomas (Gloucester)|
|Reuben Crothers (Ulster)||20||Ollie Stonham (Saracens)|
|Conor McKee (Ulster)||21||Josh Gray (Gloucester)|
|Ben Carson (Ulster)||22||Tom Carr-Smith (Bath)|
|Jude Postlethwaite (Ulster)||23||Tommy Mathews (Hartpury)|
|Jack Kelleher (Munster)||24||Phil Cokanasiga (London Irish)|
|Daniel Okeke (Munster)||25||Tom Roebuck (Sale)|
|Chay Mullins (IQ Rugby).||26||Orlando Bailey (Bath)|