U-21 Six Nations hopes need rout of England

IRELAND's U-21s retain an outside chance of winning the Six Nations Championship, but they must hammer England into total submission at Ravenhill this evening and hope Grand Slam chasers Wales come a cropper in France.

The Irish were unfortunate to lose by just a single point in Ebbw Vale last weekend, and that turned the tide in favour of Wales, who would seem capable of beating the French.

However, the omens are good for Ireland in Belfast, given that Wales beat England earlier by 25 points.

Meanwhile, the Irish U-19s prepare for the forthcoming FIRA World Championship in France with a warm-up game against England at Musgrave Park this evening.

Again, England fell to Wales in an earlier friendly, and assuming that Ireland can take advantage of home ground then they might just be in with a decent chance.

IRELAND U-21s: T. Bowe (Queens), R. Lane (UCC), B. Murphy (UL Bohemian), K. Matthews (UL Bohemian), J. Hearty (Blackrock College), M. Rainey (Glasgow), F. O'Loughlin (Shannon), J. Lyne (Lansdowne), R. Best (Belfast Harlequins), D. Fitzpatrick (Belfast Harlequins), D. Gannon (UCD), S. O'Connor (Cork Constitution), C. Potts (St. Mary's), S. Keogh (UCC, captain), N. Ronan (Lansdowne).

Replacements: K. Corrigan (UCD), E. McGovern (Old Crescent), N. McComb (Dundee), J. Muldoon (Galwegians), C. O'Loughlin (Buccaneers), D. McAllister (Terenure), P. O'Brien (UCC).

IRISH U-19s: R. McCarron (UCD), M. Hewitt (Skerries), B. O'Donnell (UL/Bohemian), G. Stafford (Lansdowne), P. McKenzie (Loughborough), B. Keeshan (UCC), S. Auld (Belfast Harlequins), R. Sweeney (St. Marys), R. Quinn (UCC), R. Loughney (UL Bohemian), D. Smith (Irish Exiles), M. Melbourne (Garryowen), B. McNamee (Northampton), O. Hennessy (Dungannon), A. Kavanagh (Garryowen, captain).

Replacements: D. Gain (Blackrock), G. Maxwell (Dungannon), J. Andress (Belfast Harlequins), C. Treston (Blackrock), T. Ryan (Highfield), C. Willis (Blackrock), R. McCarter (Queens), G. Steenson (Queens), R. McCarthy (Terenure).

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