Nigel Carolan’s cubs bid to derail England Grand Slam bid

Ireland U20 coach Nigel Carolan insists his side wouldn’t lack for motivation against Grand Slam- chasing England at Donnybrook this evening (6pm).

England secured the Championship with four consecutive victories but Ireland, whose own bid for honours was derailed by Wales last week, can ruin the visitor’s perfect season with victory here.

Carolan said: “While the Grand Slam and the Championship maybe slipped away from us, there’s still massive motivation in the group.

“It’s still an international game. It’s a superb occasion for these guys and there’s a lot of pride at stake.

The Ireland coach is pleased with their spring campaign as he plans towards the summer’s World Cup in Georgia.

“Overall, there’s hugely positive aspects to the campaign. We don’t want to take the performance mantra of ‘look, it’s only performance, it doesn’t matter whether we win or lose’. It really does, and we want these guys to get used to winning.

“Up until that game last week [against Wales], we’d won 10 out our last 11 games as an U20 group. We won four out of the five games at the World Cup last year, and we intend to win four out of five of the Six Nations this year. That is a positive return for an Irish rugby team.”

Munster Academy star John Foley will make his international debut at Donnybrook this evening (6pm). Foley is selected at blindside flanker, and will play alongside the Leinster duo of Paul Boyle and Caelan Doris in the Irish back-row.

IRELAND U20:

J Larmour; T O’Brien, G Mullin, C Frawley, C Nash; B Johnston, J Stewart; J Conway, T McElroy, C Connolly; F Wycherley, O Dowling; J Foley, P Boyle, C Doris.

Replacements:

R Kelleher, G McGrath, M Burke, J Regan, G Coombes, J Stafford, C Fitzgerald, C Hogan.

ENGLAND U20:

T Parton; J Cokanasiga, D Morris, W Butler, S Aspland- Robinson; M Malins, H Randall; O Dawe, H Walker, C Knight; J Nay, N Isiekwe; T Curry, B Curry, Z Mercer.

Replacements:

J Blamire, R Adams-Hale, J Morris, J Clegg, J Bayliss, A Mitchell, T Brophy Clews, M Wright.


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