JUDE POSTLETHWAITE has had to be patient throughout this U20 Six Nations Championship, but that’s nothing new for him.
The Ulster center missed the first two wins against Wales and France, before returning to the side that beat Italy in the third round. He knows that good things can happen to those who wait.
Postlethwaite remembers finishing at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and watching all his fellow students move to Ulster Rugby Academy, just before Covid put age-group rugby on hold.
The 19-year-old described that period as ‘a pretty low period’ but things have since picked up speed for the talented centre-back.
Postlethwaite eventually followed his old friends to Ulster Academy and is highly regarded in the province, as evidenced by the new contract he recently put his name on. The Lisburn native has moved on to a one-year development deal and then will move to a three-year senior deal.
In the meantime, he has represented Ireland on the World Sevens stage and is currently back in camp for a second chance at the U20 Six Nations, having featured four times in last year’s championship.
“It felt good to be back there (against Italy) after being injured,” Postlethwaite said.
“The U20s, I’ve been working towards that all year, wanting to play the 20s is a big part of everyone’s career. I’m really excited for the next game against England.
I put pressure on myself to play as well as I can every game to prove to people like Dan McFarland that I’m ready for a big stage opportunity.
After signing the new contract with Ulster, Postlethwaite was keen to single out his mother, who hopes to travel to Cork for the final round against Scotland next week.
“She’s been supporting me since I was younger, supporting me all along,” he explains.
“I have a single mum so it was difficult for her to raise me but she found a way to pay for me to go to a private school, one of the great rugby schools I went to. really evolved. She struggled all the way and I would love to bring it back to her.
Firstly, Ireland travel to England tomorrow, with Richie Murphy’s side refreshed after a weekend following Italy’s win, and invigorated through training sessions with the squad Senior by Andy Farrell.
No surprise as to who caught Postlethwaite’s attention during these internal sessions.
Centers, of course, you have Garry Ringrose and Bundee and Henshaw. I watched them throughout the session, picking up on the key points they were making. I feel like the whole team benefited a lot too, just the way the seniors play, that’s what we’re trying to paint.
“We definitely built (over the last three games). The last week against the seniors went well, we took a lot, and then the match against Italy, seeing it again we were quite disappointed, we missed a lot of chances. We want to improve it by moving to England.
Training with the senior Ulster side, Postlethwaite also worked hard on his own game, his experiences playing Sevens helping to sharpen some of the rougher edges for the fast centre.
“I feel like you have to be more patient in Sevens on D. I also feel like rucking too, it’s getting a lot better since I was playing forward.
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“(Then) Just the basics, my passing and all that. You get a lot out of it even if sometimes you feel like you don’t. It was good to play in front of a big crowd in Dubai, which helps to get into the 20s.”
Ireland head to England at the top of the Six Nations U20 table, the only side to have won their first three games.
“They are very good ball carriers, so it will be a threat for us. Overall England are a physical team, we have to match them and try to play around that as well. This is what we studied this week. »
Comedian Michael Fry is our special guest on this week’s episode of The Front Row, in partnership with Guinness. Joining host Seán Burke, Eimear Considine and Murray Kinsella, he discusses his family’s rugby background and short playing days, before using his musical ear to rank the anthems of each Guinness Six Nations team. Click here to subscribe or listen below: