The Head Coach Richie murphy named their Irish team U20 Match Day, sponsored by PwC, for Friday evening U20 Six Nations Second round clash against Wales at Cardiff Arms Park (kick off at 8 p.m., live on RTÉ 2 and Six Nations UK YouTube and Facebook channels).
Ireland opened their 2021 league campaign with a bonus points victory over Scotland last weekend and Murphy made six staff changes to his starting XV for Friday’s clash against the hosts.
Alex Kendellen, who was the player of the match in the first round, is captain of the back-row team again as Ireland looked for two out of two wins in Cardiff.
There are three changes to Ireland’s end line with Chris Cosgrave named to start on the left wing, while Nathan Doak and Tim corkery arrive at halfway and a half of scrum respectively.
Former St Michael Cosgrave man is joined in the final three by Jamie osborne and Ben Moxham, with the fully Connacht midfielder partnership of Cathal Fordé and Shane Jennings remaining unchanged.
There are two changes in the first row of Ireland as Jack boyle and Marc Donnelly are promoted off the bench to start on either side of the hooker Ronan Loughnane, while Alex soroka pass from the back row to join Harry sheridan in the second row.
With Soroka moving to number four, Donnacha Byrne arrives at the blind side next Oisin McCormack and Kendellen in the back row, with Murphy also reshuffling his resources on the substitutes bench.
The Ulster Trio George saunderson, Jude Postlethwaite and Conor Rankin are included in the match day squad for the first time, while Munster Fearghail O’Donoghue – who has been called up to replace injured Darragh Murray – could also make his Ireland U20 debut.
Commenting ahead of the game, Murphy said, “We were excited to have a winning start last weekend, but the very nature of this championship means you have to move on quickly and focus on the next challenge. We identified areas of our game that needed improvement after Scotland and worked on them this week. Wales will be a tough test at home but the squad look forward to the challenge and build on last week’s performance.
Friday night’s game is live on RTÉ 2 for Republic of Ireland viewers, while there will be coverage on Six Nations’ YouTube and Facebook channels for fans in the UK.
IRELAND U20s Team & Substitutions (v Wales, 2021 U20s Six Nations Championship, Cardiff Arms Park, Friday June 25, kick off at 8 p.m.)
15. Jamie Osborne (Naas CBS / Naas RFC / Leinster)
14. Ben Moxham (Lycée Larne / RFC Ballymena / Ulster)
13. Shane Jennings (Garbally College / Buccaneers RFC / Connacht)
12. Cathal Forde (Colaiste Iognaid / Corinthians RFC / Connacht)
11. Chris Cosgrave (St Michael’s College / UCD RFC / Leinster)
10. Tim Corkery (St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny / UCD RFC / Leinster)
9. Nathan Doak (Wallace High School / RFC Banbridge / Ulster)
1. Jack Boyle (St Michael’s College / UCD RFC / Leinster)
2. Ronan Loughnane (Cistercian College Roscrea / UCD RFC / Leinster)
3. Mark Donnelly (CBC Cork / Garryowen RFC / Munster)
4. Alex Soroka (Belvedere College / Clontarf RFC / Leinster)
5. Harry Sheridan (Sullivan Upper School / University of Dublin FC / Ulster)
6. Donnacha Byrne (Summerhill College / Sligo RFC / Connacht)
7. Oisin McCormack (Garbally College / Buccaneers RFC / Connacht)
8. Alex Kendellen (PBC Cork / UCC RFC / Munster) (Captain).
16. Eoin de Buitléar (Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiáran / An Ghaeltacht / Corinthians RFC / Connacht)
17. George Saunderson (Sullivan Upper School / Queen’s University Belfast RFC / Ulster)
18. Sam Illo (Wesley College / Old Wesley RFC / Leinster)
19. Mark Morrissey (Blackrock College / UCD RFC / Leinster)
20. Reuben Crothers (Wallace High School / Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster)
21. Conor McKee (Sullivan Upper School / Queen’s University Belfast RFC / Ulster)
22. Ben Carson (Wallace High School / RFC de Banbridge / Ulster)
23. Jude Postlethwaite (RBAI / RFC Banbridge / Ulster)
24. Fearghail O’Donoghue (Cashel Community School / RFC Cashel / Munster)
25. Daniel Okeke (Ard Scoil Ris / Shannon RFC / Munster)
26. Conor Rankin (Campbell College Belfast / Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster).