France pose serious test for Ireland’s vintage U-20 crop

IRELAND U-20 face a first real test of their Grand Slam credentials when they travel to face their French counterparts at Stade de la Chevaliere in Mazame tonight (RTÉ Two, 7.30pm).

The 2010 vintage is widely regarded as one with immense talent, and is, on paper at least, capable of repeating the 2007 crop’s Grand Slam heroics.

They showcased their ability to hurt teams out wide in last week’s 39-0 demolition of Italy, with the backs claiming all six tries, three of them scored by St Mary’s wing Darren Hudson.

Cork Con flier Simon Zebo was equally impressive on the other flank, while Blackrock College duo Andrew Conway and Brendan Macken are names that have been widely tipped to be something special.

But they may get less space to strut their stuff against a French side who require a win to salvage their own U-20 Six Nations hopes, after being held to an 8-8 stalemate in Scotland last week.

Ireland coach Allen Clarke has named an unchanged side, again trusting his pack to front up to the French. They had little problem with this against the physicality of the Italians last week, with UCC duo Bryan Cagney and David O’Callaghan to the fore.

Clarke said: “We are aware that we have a much tougher game ahead of us than we had last weekend. That being said, we have prepared and planned well for this fixture.”

Meanwhile, South African-born number eight Robbie Diack makes his comeback from a long-term knee injury when he lines out for the Ulster Ravens for their British and Irish Cup trip to Llanelli this evening.

Diack is included in a very strong pack which includes Irish Wolfhounds lock Ryan Caldwell, props Bryan Young and Declan Fitzpatrick along with hooker and captain Andi Kyriacou.

The Ravens, who have bonus-point victories from two previous outings in the competitions, start with Cillian Willis and Niall O’Connor at half-back with Timoci Nagusa on the wing.

IRELAND U-20 (vs France U-20):A Conway (Blackrock College/Leinster), D Hudson (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), B Macken (Blackrock/Leinster), N Spence (Ballynahinch/Ulster), S Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster), J McKinney (Queens University/Ulster), J Cooney (UCD /Leinster), B Cagney (UCC/Munster), N Annett (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), J O’Connell (Lansdowne/Leinster), D O’Callaghan (UCC/Munster), B Marshall (UCD/Leinster), R Ruddock (UCD/Leinster),(Capt), D Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster), P Butler (Shannon/Munster).

Replacements: D Doyle (UCD/Leinster), S Maguire (Old Belvedere/ Leinster), B Hayes (Cork Constitution/Munster), R O’ Sullivan (Bective Rangers/Leinster), M Heaney (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), B Kingston (Blackrock/Leinster), E Griffin (Corinthians/Connacht).

ULSTER RAVENS (vs Llanelli): J Smith; T Seymour, M McCrea, I Whitten, T Nagusa, N O’Connor, C Willis; B Young, A Kyriacou, captain, D Fitzpatrick, N McComb, R Caldwell, TJ Anderson, D Pollock, R Diack.

Replacements: N Brady, A Macklin, E O’Donoghue, W Faloon, P Marshall, I Humphreys, D Cave.

IRELAND WOMEN (v France): N Briggs, A Davis, G Davitt, S Houston, A Miller, J O’Sullivan, T Rosser, F Coghlan, G Bourke, E McManamly, C Mahon, M Louise Reilly, O Brennan, S Ryan, J Neville Replacements: C Fanning, L Day, K O’Loughlin, C Molloy, Louise Beamish, H Brosnan, N Stapleton

IRELAND COLLEGES: P Harte (Athlone IT/Bucaneers),J Cleary (GMIT/Galwegians), L Kavanagh (DCU/Lansdowne), J Clogan (Waterford IT/Shannon), D Mongan (DCU/Old Belvedere), J Power (DIT/Blackrock College), S Treacy (DCU/Clontarf), J Naughton (GMIT/Galwegians), W Falvey (CIT/UCC), S Preston (DIT/StMarys College), M Kearney (IT Carlow/Clontarf), B Reilly (DCU/Clontarf), J Dever (Garda College/Terenure College), R Hackney (UU Jordanstown/Ballymena), A Dunlop (IT Tallaght/Blackrock College).

Replacements: A Ferguson (BelMet/Ballymena), S Morton (UU Jordanstown/Portadown), P DeBurca (Athlone IT/Bucaneers), C Deans (IT Tallaght/Terenure College), H Nolan (DCU/Clontarf), P DeBarra(IT Carlow/DLSP), M Sexton (IT Tallaght/StMarys College).

More in this section

CourtsRugbyPlace: Stade de la ChevalierePlace: MazamePlace: ScotlandPlace: LlanelliPerson: ST MARYPerson: Darren HudsonPerson: Simon ZeboPerson: Andrew ConwayPerson: Brendan MackenPerson: Allen ClarkePerson: ItaliansPerson: Bryan CagneyPerson: David O’CallaghanPerson: ClarkePerson: Robbie DiackPerson: DiackPerson: Ryan CaldwellPerson: Bryan YoungPerson: Declan FitzpatrickPerson: Andi KyriacouPerson: Cillian WillisPerson: Niall O’ConnorPerson: Timoci NagusaPerson: D HudsonPerson: B MackenPerson: J McKinneyPerson: J CooneyPerson: B CagneyPerson: J O’ConnellPerson: D O’CallaghanPerson: B MarshallPerson: R RuddockPerson: D RyanPerson: P ButlerPerson: D DoylePerson: S MaguirePerson: B HayesPerson: R O’ SullivanPerson: M HeaneyPerson: B KingstonPerson: E GriffinPerson: J SmithPerson: T SeymourPerson: M McCreaPerson: I WhittenPerson: T NagusaPerson: N O’ConnorPerson: C WillisPerson: B YoungPerson: A KyriacouPerson: D FitzpatrickPerson: N McCombPerson: R CaldwellPerson: TJ AndersonPerson: D PollockPerson: R DiackPerson: N BradyPerson: A MacklinPerson: E O’DonoghuePerson: W FaloonPerson: P MarshallPerson: I HumphreysPerson: D CavePerson: IRELAND WOMENPerson: N BriggsPerson: A DavisPerson: G DavittPerson: S HoustonPerson: A MillerPerson: J O’SullivanPerson: T RosserPerson: F CoghlanPerson: G BourkePerson: E McManamlyPerson: C MahonPerson: M Louise ReillyPerson: O BrennanPerson: S RyanPerson: J NevillePerson: C FanningPerson: L DayPerson: K O’LoughlinPerson: C MolloyPerson: Louise BeamishPerson: H BrosnanPerson: N StapletonPerson: P HartePerson: J ClearyPerson: L KavanaghPerson: J CloganPerson: D MonganPerson: J PowerPerson: S TreacyPerson: J NaughtonPerson: W FalveyPerson: S PrestonPerson: M KearneyPerson: B ReillyPerson: J DeverPerson: R HackneyPerson: A DunlopPerson: FergusonPerson: S MortonPerson: P DeBurcaPerson: C DeansPerson: H NolanPerson: P DeBarraPerson: M SextonEvent: Grand SlamEvent: Irish CupOrganisation: FranceOrganisation: RTÉ TwoOrganisation: ItalyOrganisation: Blackrock CollegeOrganisation: UCCOrganisation: Ulster RavensOrganisation: Irish WolfhoundsOrganisation: Ireland U-20Organisation: France U-20Organisation: LeinsterOrganisation: St. Mary’s CollegeOrganisation: BlackrockOrganisation: N SpenceOrganisation: BallynahinchOrganisation: UlsterOrganisation: S ZeboOrganisation: Cork ConstitutionOrganisation: MunsterOrganisation: Queens UniversityOrganisation: UCDOrganisation: Belfast HarlequinsOrganisation: LansdowneOrganisation: ShannonOrganisation: Old BelvedereOrganisation: Bective RangersOrganisation: CorinthiansOrganisation: ConnachtOrganisation: LlanelliOrganisation: Athlone ITOrganisation: BucaneersOrganisation: GMITOrganisation: GalwegiansOrganisation: DCUOrganisation: Waterford ITOrganisation: DCU/Old BelvedereOrganisation: DITOrganisation: ClontarfOrganisation: CIT/UCCOrganisation: StMarys CollegeOrganisation: IT CarlowOrganisation: Garda CollegeOrganisation: Terenure CollegeOrganisation: UU JordanstownOrganisation: BallymenaOrganisation: IT TallaghtOrganisation: BelMetOrganisation: PortadownOrganisation: DLSP

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