The Ireland and Wales teams have been announced for the Second Round match of the 2021 U20 Six Nations Tournament at Cardiff Arms on Friday, kick off 20:00
Ireland Head Coach Richie Murphy has made 6 changes to the starting XV that featured in their comprehensive opening round win against Scotland.
Tim Corkery, who came on for the injured James Humphreys last time out is boosted to starting out half this time round and he is joined by Ulster’s Nathan Doak at scrum half. Chris Cosgrave at left wing is the only other change to a back line that was defensively very solid but was missing a bit of spark in attack.
Jack Boyle and Mark Donnely come into the front row either side of hooker Ronan Loughnane and Donnacha Byrne comes into the back row with Alex Soroka moving into second row.
The extended reserves panel sees a further four changes with Munster’s Fearghail O’Donoghue joining three Ulster youngsters, George Saunderson, Jude Postlethwaite and Conor Rankin, the later one of only three players with previous U20 experience prior to this tournament; albeit a one minute outing in 2020.
With Ben Moxham and Harry Sheridan retaining their starting berths, Conor McKee dropping to the bench and Reuben Crothers and Ben Carson retaining their bench spots this leaves 9 Ulster players in the extended squad.
In contrast, Wales have not made any changes to their starting side, following their 25 – 8 win against Italy in the last round and there are only two changes to their extended reserves with Exeter Chiefs’ Christ Tshiunza and Ospreys’ Rhys Thomas joining the panel.
Despite substantial wins for both teams in the opening round, neither of the teams were overly convincing. Wales relied on a penalty try and the boot of Sam Costelow for their win and Ireland needed their pack to work over 14 man Scotland for an extended period before they cut loose. As I said in my preview for the opening round it’s early days and neither side has seen much action in the last 16 months so it’s not how they start but how they finish.
From an Irish perspective I’d like to see the back line get the ball wider more often and I wouldn’t be surprised if the game ended with Doak at out half and McKee at scrum half.
The FRU Predicts. Wales are at home for this one but it won’t make a lot of difference in an empty stadium. Ireland look to have the potential to cause more damage and if they do get the ball through the hands they should win this one.
|Jacob Beetham (Cardiff Rugby)||15||Jamie Osborne (Leinster)|
|Dan John (Exeter Chiefs)||14||Ben Moxham (Ulster)|
|Ioan Evans (Pontypridd)||13||Shane Jennings (Connacht)|
|Joe Hawkins (Ospreys)||12||Cathal Forde (Connacht)|
|Carrick McDonough (Dragons)||11||Chris Cosgrave (Leinster)|
|Sam Costelow (Scarlets)||10||Tim Corkery (Leinster)|
|Harri Williams (Scarlets);||9||Nathan Doak (Ulster)|
|Garyn Phillips (Ospreys)||1||Jack Boyle (Leinster)|
|Efan Daniel (Cardiff Rugby)||2||Ronan Loughnane (Leinster)|
|Nathan Evans (Cardiff Rugby)||3||Mark Donnelly (Munster)|
|Joe Peard (Dragons)||4||Alex Soroka (Leinster)|
|Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs)||5||Harry Sheridan (Ulster)|
|Alex Mann (Cardiff Rugby – Capt)||6||Donnacha Byrne (Connacht)|
|Harri Deaves (Ospreys)||7||Oisin McCormack (Connacht)|
|Carwyn Tuipulotu (Scarlets)||8||Alex Kendellen (Munster)(C)|
|Oliver Burrows (Exeter Chiefs)||16||Eoin de Buitléar (Connacht)|
|Theo Bevacqua (Cardiff Rugby)||17||George Saunderson (Ulster)|
|Lewys Jones (Nevers)||18||Sam Illo (Leinster)|
|James Fender (Ospreys)||19||Mark Morrissey (Leinster)|
|Chris Tshiunza (Exeter Chiefs)||20||Reuben Crothers (Ulster)|
|Ethan Lloyd (Cardiff Rugby)||21||Conor McKee (Ulster)|
|Will Reed (Dragons)||22||Ben Carson (Ulster)|
|Tom Florence (Ospreys)||23||Jude Postlethwaite (Ulster)|
|Morgan Richards (Dragons/)||24||Fearghail O’Donoghue (Munster)|
|Eddie James (Scarlets)||25||Daniel Okeke (Munster)|
|Rhys Thomas (Ospreys)||26||Conor Rankin (Ballynahinch|