IRELAND U20S HEAD coach Mike Ruddock has made three changes to his starting team to face England on Saturday at Franklin’s Gardens [KO 6.15pm].
Young Munster RFC centre Dan Goggin gets the nod at outside centre, replacing Garry Ringrose, who drops out of the match-day squad. Adam Byrne, the explosive Leinster back, comes in on the left wing in place of Ian Fitzpatrick, while Ulster’s Frankie Taggart gets the nod at No. 8.
Taggart is included after Jack O’Donoghue’s failure to recover from injury following the defeat to Wales last time out. On the bench, Lansdowne’s Michael Trigg and Harrison Brewer of Terenure are the new faces.
While Ireland approach this game with the memory of their 16-0 loss at home to Wales as motivation, England’s confidence will be high following a 48-15 victory against Scotland in round two, when they scored seven tries.
Ruddock is confident Ireland can respond to that recent disappointment in a positive manner.
“There were some harsh lessons learned last time out against the Welsh and the team will have to dig deep and find a quality performance this weekend to get a result against a strong English team. There is plenty of character and experience within this squad and that should stand to them come Saturday.”
Ireland U20s: David Busby (QUB, Ulster); Cian Kelleher (Lansdowne, Leinster), Dan Goggin (Young Munster, Munster), Peter Robb (Old Belvedere, Leinster), Adam Byrne (UCD, Leinster); Ross Byrne, Nick McCarthy (both UCD, Leinster); Peter Dooley (Lansdowne, Leinster), Max Abbott (Cork Con, Munster), Rory Burke (Cork Con, Munster); Sean O’Brien (Galwegians, Connacht), Ross Molony; Peadar Timmins, Dan Leavy (c) (all three UCD, Leinster), Frankie Taggart (Belfast Harlequins, Ulster).
Replacements: Sean McNulty (UCD, Munster), Denis Coulsen, Oisin Heffernan (both Lansdowne, Leinster), Joe Joyce (Bristol, Exiles), Michael Trigg (Lansdowne, Leinster), Jack Cullen (Bruff, Munster), Conor McKeon (Lansdowne, Leinster), Harrison Brewer (Terenure, Leinster).