Ruddock relies on experience

Seven players from last year’s squad are included in the Ireland team for Friday night’s U20 Six Nations clash with Wales (Dubarry Park, Athlone. 7.05pm).

Mike Ruddock’s experienced side includes a second row pairing of Daniel Qualter and Iain Henderson with Aaron Conneely in the back row.

Centre JJ Hanrahan makes a return to the side from last year along with Sam Coghlan-Murray, who has been named on the wing.

Kieran Marmion partners Paddy Jackson at scrum-half and outhalf respectively. Jackson will also captain the side.

Ruddock said “We are all looking forward to the start of the 6 Nations. It is always a tough test against Wales but preparations have been first-class and we are confident we have prepared as best as we can.”

IRELAND U20: S Layden (Buccaneers, Connacht), B Daly (UCD, Leinster), F Horan (Lansdowne, Leinster), JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemian, Munster), S Coghlan-Murray (UCD, Leinster), P Jackson (Dungannon, Ulster) (C), K Marmion (Corinthians, Connacht), K McCall (Ballynahinch, Ulster), N Scannell (Dolphin, Munster), P Reilly (Lansdowne, Leinster), I Henderson (QUB, Ulster), D Qualter (Buccaneers, Connacht), C Gilsenan (UCD, Leinster), A Conneely (Corinthians, Connacht), J Conan (Old Belvedere, Leinster).

Replacements: D Merrey (Clontarf, Leinster), J Rael (Garryowen, Munster), J Cawley (Leinster), T Beirne (Lansdowne, Leinster), J Coghlan (UCD, Leinster), L McGrath (UCD, Leinster), C Marsh (Dublin University, Leinster), C Farrell (Dungannon, Ulster).

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