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Ulster's Rob Lyttle and Munster out-half Bill Johnston boost Ireland U20s for French test

Nigel Carolan has been forced to make a number of changes for this Friday.

Lyttle is set to make his Ireland U20s debut this Friday.
Lyttle is set to make his Ireland U20s debut this Friday.
Image: Presseye/Simon King/INPHO

ULSTER WINGER ROB Lyttle has been named in the Ireland U20s team to face France in the Six Nations on Friday night.

Nigel Carolan’s side opened their campaign with one-point victories over Scotland and Italy with the head coach making a number of changes for their first home game at Donnybrook.

Lyttle — who has played seven times for the northern province in the Guinness Pro12 — comes into the XV at fullback and will win his first U20 cap with Jordan Larmour, who scored two tries in the win over Italy, and Munster’s Calvin Nash completing an explosive backline.

At out-half, Munster’s Bill Johnston will make his first appearance at this level since June of last year while Johnny Stewart is named to start at nine.

The front row remains unchanged from last time out but stand-in captain Cillian Gallagher has been ruled out with a shoulder injury. He joins Jack Kelly, Johnny McPhillips, Gavin Mullin and Rory Butler in the treatment room.

Nash skippers the side in the absence of Kelly and Gallagher.

Ireland players celebrate after the game Ireland sit second in the table behind England after two games. Source: Matteo Ciambelli/INPHO

Second row Fineen Wycherley was unavailable for selection as he was called into Munster’s squad for their Pro12 clash with Scarlets this weekend.

“We’ve been forced to make a number of changes due to injuries this week, but that gives other players the opportunity to demonstrate what they can offer,” Carolan said.

“The French bounced back well from their defeat to England to win convincingly against Scotland, so we have a big challenge ahead of us this Friday, however with the quick surface in Donnybrook, along with playing in front of our home fans, the players are looking forward to getting out there and are looking to put in a good performance.”

Ireland U20s (v France):

15. Rob Lyttle (Queen’s University Belfast / Ulster)
14. Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College / Leinster)
13. Tommy O’Brien (UCD RFC / Leinster)
12. Ciaran Frawley (UCD RFC / Leinster)
11. Calvin Nash (Young Munster / Munster)
10. Bill Johnston (Garryowen / Munster)
9. Johnny Stewart (Queen’s University Belfast / Ulster)

1. Joey Conway (UL Bohemians / Munster)
2. Tadgh McElroy (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
3. Charlie Connolly (Dublin University / Leinster)
4. Jack Regan (UCD RFC / Leinster)
5. Oisin Dowling (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
6. Marcus Rea (Queen’s University Belfast / Ulster)
7. Paul Boyle (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
8. Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College / Leinster)

Replacements

16. Ronan Kelleher (UCD RFC / Leinster)
17. Rory Mulvihill (UCD RFC / Leinster)
18. Peter Cooper (Belfast Harlequins / Ulster)
19. Gavin Coombes (Young Munster / Munster)
20. Sean Masterson (Corinthians / Connacht)
21. Jack Lyons (Young Munster / Munster)
22. Conor Fitzgerald (Shannon RFC / Munster)
23. Alex McHenry (Cork Constitution / Munster)

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