U20 coach Noel McNamara: Ireland need to find killer instinct

Ireland U20 coach Noel McNamara

Coach Noel McNamara is hopeful Ireland will learn to “put away” teams and finally get their first win of the World Rugby U20 Championship this afternoon against Scotland.

They take on a Scottish side at Stade Aime Giral in Perpignan (3pm Irish time) who have also lost all three games in this tournament.

Ireland beat Scotland 30-25 in the Six Nations in Donnybrook, but an indication of the injuries which have impacted this squad is illustrated by the fact that only eight of that team will start in Perpigan this afternoon.

Scotland’s only win all season was a 24-17 win over England in Myreside in the Six Nations, a result avenged 35-10 last week here in France.

An Irish defeat would mean a relegation showdown with Georgia or Japan next Sunday. McNamara is hopeful his charges will bounce back after losses to France, South Africa, and Georgia.

These players they are working very hard. But we really need to start putting away a couple of games.

“Relegation is something we weren’t countenancing on at the start of the tournament. It’s not where we wanted to be but it’s where we are.”

McNamara makes five changes. Michael Silvester returns at full-back, Harry Byrne swaps with Conor Dean at out-half and Joe Byrne starts at tighthead. In the back row Joe Dunleavy and Matthew Agnew also return.

Ireland:

M Silvester (Leinster); J Hume (Ulster), S O’Brien (Leinster), P Sylvester (Munster), T O’Brien (Leinster); H Byrne (Leinster), H O’Sullivan (Leinster); J Duggan (Leinster), D Barron (Munster), J Byrne (Leinster); M Dalton (Ulster), J Dunne (Leinster); J Dunleavy (Ulster), M Agnew (Ulster), C Doris (Leinster).

Replacements:

D Sheehan (Leinster), B O’Connor (Munster), J Wojtkowicz (Connacht), C Ryan (Leinster), J Daly (Munster), J Stewart (Ulster), C Dean (Leinster), T Roche (Leinster).

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