Ruddock’s U20s bid to scupper England Slam

IRELAND Under 20s can lay down a marker tonight as they attempt to stop England clinching a Grand Slam at Dubarry Park.

With the senior side also tasked with upsetting English Slam hopes, Mike Ruddock’s charges can strike the first blow for Ireland in Athlone.

England head coach Rob Hunter has made six changes to the side that beat Scotland last week ahead of the final RBS 6 Nations clash.

Gloucester centre Ryan Mills, London Irish wing Jonathan Joseph, Bath scrum-half Chris Cook, Northampton hooker Mike Haywood and Leicester Tigers flanker Matt Everard all come into the starting XV.

Hunter says he will have no problem motivating his side as they aim for a first clean sweep for three years. He said: “Ireland will be tough, they are the defending champions and they rarely lose in Athlone.

“We’ve had an excellent tournament so far and we know what’s at stake on Friday night. We’ll be focusing purely on performance and matching the challenge that Ireland represent.”

The match will be screened live on RTÉ2, kick-off 7.45pm.

ENGLAND U20 (v Ireland U20): B Ransom (Saracens), A Short (Worcester), E Daly (Wasps), R Mills (Gloucester), J Joseph (London Irish), G Ford (Leicester), C Cook (Bath); M Vunipola (Bristol), M Haywood (Northampton), H Thomas (Sale), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Matthews (Harlequins), M Kvesic (Worcester), M Everard (Leicester), A Gray (Capt, Newcastle).Replacements: R Buchanan (Harlequins), W Collier (Harlequins), A Lockley (Exeter Chiefs), S Jones (London Wasps), D Robson (Gloucester), O Farrell (Saracens), J Elliott (Northampton Saints).

More in this section

Sport Push Notifications

By clicking on 'Sign Up' you will be the first to know about our latest and best sporting content on this browser.

Sign Up

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Cookie Policy Privacy Policy FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Irish Examiner Ltd