Ruddock has high hopes

A good start against Wales has given Irish coach Mike Ruddock belief in the ability of his U20 team for their meeting with France at Grenoble this afternoon.

There were more positives than negatives in Athlone last week when Ireland came from behind to beat the Welsh 11-6, but Ruddock has been forced to make two alterations, with impressive winger Barry Daly having to opt out with a broken thumb. It offers an opportunity to Connacht’s Conor Finn to line out close to his Buccaneers team colleague, full-back Shane Layden.

Ruddock has also promoted Chris Farrell from the bench to outside centre along with scrum-half Luke McGrath, with the pair making their first starts of the Championship. Foster Horan and Kieran Marmion are the players to make way.

Ireland: S Layden (Buccaneers/Connacht), C Finn (Buccaneers/Connacht), C Farrell (Dungannon/Ulster), JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster), S Coghlan Murray (UCD/Leinster), P Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster, captain), L McGrath (UCD/Leinster), K McCall (Ballynahinch/Ulster), N Scannell (Dolphin/Munster), P Reilly (Lansdowne/Leinster), I Henderson (Queen’s University/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), D Higgins (Buccaneers/Connacht), T Beirne (Lansdowne/Leinster), J Coghlan (UCD/Leinster), K Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht), C Marsh (Dublin University/Leinster), F Horan (Lansdowne/Leinster).

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