Irish Rugby | Ireland U20 team named to face Italy in Six Nations warm-up

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The Irish U20s, sponsored by PwC, will intensify their preparations for the 2022 Six Nations when they face Italy in an Uncapped Challenge match at UCD Bowl on Saturday afternoon (2pm kick-off).

Richie murphyThe squad gathered for camp at the IRFU High Performance Center this week, and Saturday’s hit against Italy in Dublin will provide a valuable opportunity for Ireland to build important cohesion.

Ireland’s head coach has selected an expanded squad of 25 for match day, ensuring that much of Murphy’s larger panel is exposed to playing time ahead of the Six Nations opener against Wales at Musgrave Park on Friday February 4th.

Three players who played for Ireland in the U20 Six Nations last July are included, with Ruben crothers, Mark Morrissey and Chay mullins all selected to start on Saturday. Ulster full-back Crothers will be the team’s captain.

Having made his Heineken Champions Cup debut for Munster last weekend, scrum half Ethan Coughlan is also named to begin with, while Tony butler and Conor Moloney, who were both also involved for the Southern Province against the Wasps, are among the replacements.

Commenting ahead of the game, Murphy underlined the value of Saturday’s training for his side just seven weeks away from Wales’ visit to Cork.

“We gathered as a group at the IRFU High Performance Center this week to start laying the groundwork for the coming season,” he said.

“Saturday’s game against Italy will be extremely beneficial for the whole squad and an important step for us in our preparations for this first game against Wales at Musgrave Park. We are looking forward to the challenge of a live match situation.

There will be live coverage of Saturday’s match on Irish Rugby social media.

Ireland U20 (v Italy):

15. Dylan O’Grady (UCD RFC / Leinster)
14. Chay Mullins (Bristol Bears / IQ Rugby)
13. Fionn Gibbons (UCD RFC / Leinster)
12. Ben Brownlee (UCD RFC / Leinster)
11. Aitzol King (Clontarf FC / Leinster)
10. Charlie Tector (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
9. Ethan Coughlan (Shannon RFC / Munster)

1. Ben Popplewell (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
2. Dylan Murphy (Garryowen FC / Munster)
3. Rory McGuire (UCD RFC / Leinster)
4. Conor O’Tighearnaigh (UCD RFC / Leinster)
5. Mark Morrissey (UCD RFC / Leinster)
6. Lorcan McLoughlin (Queen’s University of Belfast / Ulster)
7. Reuben Crothers (Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster) (Captain)
8. James Culhane (UCD RFC / Leinster)

Substitutes:

16. Josh Hanlon (Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster)
17. Oisin Michel (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
18. Darragh McSweeney (Shannon RFC / Munster)
19. Fionn McWey (Old Belvedere RFC / Leinster)
20. James McNabney (Ballymana RFC / Ulster)
21. Matthew Devine (Corinthians RFC / Connacht)
22. Tony Butler (Garryowen FC / Munster)
23. Darragh French (UCC RFC / Munster)
24. Conor Moloney (Young Munster / Munster)
25. Callum O’Reilly (University of Dublin FC / Leinster).

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