Six Nations: Teams up for Scotland v Ireland Under 20’s

Published Categorised as 2020-21, International Rugby U20, Ireland U20, Scotland U20, Six Nations Under 20 Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Conor McKee starts at scrum half for Ireland U20 against Scotland.
Conor McKee starts at scrum half for Ireland U20 against Scotland.

The 2021 U20 Six Nations kicks off tomorrow afternoon with three games at Cardiff Arms Park which will be the venue for all the matches as the teams operate in an extended bubble.

Ireland face Scotland first up in what is ostensibly an away game, though with the restrictions there will be next to no benefit for any side. the Scotland Ireland game kicks off the tournament at 14:00 and it will be followed by England France at 17:00 and Italy Wales at 20:00. All games are to be shown on BBC iPlayer.

The teams were announce earlier this afternoon and given the restrictions on players coming into and out of squads the teams are announcing a 26 player panel for each game.

Ireland’s selection features only 2 players with previous U20 international experience, Ulster’s Ben Moxham and Leinster’s Alex Soroka who clocked up 79 and 70 minutes respectively, in 2020 pre Covid.

Normally we’d have a bit of history on the players as they hit the AIL and Academy sides but with little action, and none that we were invited to, over the last 16 months we don’t have a lot of info on the players outside of the Ulster lads that we would have covered at their schools.

However, given a few of the Ulster players that are missing from this first squad, there must be some talent out there in the other Provinces!

Ulster are represented by Moxham, James Humphreys, Conor McKee, and Harry Sheridan in the starting line up with Reuben Crothers and Ben Carson in the extended replacements list. I’m somewhat surprised that Nathan Doak, Jude Postlethwaite and Conor Rankin are not included and can only assume that there are going to be extensive changes to the match day panels throughout this condensed tournament.

It’s a new experience for the bulk of the squad in exceptional circumstances and it’s also an new experience for Head Coach Richie Murphy who was ushered into place following Kieran Campbell’s departure to Ealing Trailfinders. Other than a few hit outs against Provincial Academy sides, behind closed doors, Murphy doesn’t have much to base his selections on so I’m guessing this competition will not be so much about how you start but how you finish as players are tested in proper competition.

Scotland Head Coach Sean Lineen finds himself in a similar position though, with only 10 of the Scotland squad contracted to Edinburgh or Glasgow, they have perhaps had to overcome more logistical issues to get the players training together.

The FRU Predicts: I had been looking forward to Campbell’s stint in charge as he has consistently tried to get his sides to play attacking rugby, something the U20’s drifted away from after Nigel Carolan’s departure. Hopefully Murphy will have a similar approach to Campbell and Carolan as this has the potential to be quite an exciting tournament as the bulk of the players, across all the teams, take their first steps into the international rugby arena.

As far as this first game goes, Ireland should open their account with a win.

Teams

SCOTLANDIRELAND
Ollie Melville (Warriors)15Jamie Osborne (Leinster)
Finlay Callaghan (Warriors)14Ben Moxham (Ulster)
Scott King (Edinburgh)13Shane Jennings (Connacht)
Elliot Groulay (Sale)12Cathal Forde (Connacht)
Michael Gray (Warriors)11Josh O’Connor (Leinster)
Cameron Scott (Edinburgh)10James Humphreys (Ulster)
Murray Redpath (Newcastle Uni)9Conor McKee (Ulster)
Cole Lamberton (Edinburgh)1Temi Lasisi (Leinster)
Patrick Harrison (Edinburgh)2Ronan Loughnane (Leinster)
Olly Frostick (Ealing Trailfinders)3Sam Illo (Leinster)
Max Williamson (Warriors)4Mark Morrissey (Leinster)
Alex Samuel (Warriors) (C)5Harry Sheridan (Ulster)
Archie Smeaton (Cambridge Uni)6Alex Soroka (Leinster)
Ben Muncaster (Edinburgh)7Oisin McCormack (Connacht)
Harri Morris (Southern Knights)8Alex Kendellen (Munster)(C)
Jamie Drummond (Ayrshire)16Eoin de Buitléar (Connacht)
Michael Jones (Boroughmuir)17Jack Boyle (Leinster)
George Breese (Stirling Wolves)18Mark Donnelly (Munster)
Euan Ferrie (Hawks)19Jack Kelleher (Munster)
Rory Jackson (Warriors)20Reuben Crothers (Ulster)
Ollie Leatherbarrow (Exeter Uni)21Will Reilly (Leinster)
Rhys Tait (Southern Knights)22Tim Corkery (Leinster)
Ethan McVicker (Melrose Rugby)23Chris Cosgrave (Leinster)
Christian Townsend (Ayrshire)24Donnacha Byrne (Connacht)
Thomas Glendinning (Hawks)25Ben Carson (Ulster)
Ross McKnight (Stirling County)26Daniel Okeke (Munster).

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