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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Ben Moxham.
# Learning the Trade
Ulster experience paying off for Ireland U20s wing Ben Moxham
The Ulster player is in his second season with the Ireland U20s.

TWO WINS FROM two, and so far it’s all going to plan for Ben Moxham and the Ireland U20s ahead of Thursday’s Triple Crown showdown with England in Cardiff.

The Ulster back, who started at wing in the wins over Scotland and Wales, feels that he, and the team, have been growing across the opening stages of the tournament following a year of disruption.

“I think in the Scotland game, we just needed to get used to playing with each other for a bit,” Moxham says.

“It was my first game with the lads and with the forwards out in the wide channels, I think it just took a big game for them to get used to holding their feet and being comfortable out there.

“I think it showed in the Welsh game. They were able to get the ball out there a couple of times, which is nice for me.”

A Triple Crown, and potential U20 Six Nations title, would represent a fine end to a promising season for Moxham, who came to rugby only five years ago, picking up the sport after quitting his first love, football. 

“It just took a lot of hard work behind the scenes. A lot of skill sessions with one of my friends every weekend. I wasn’t too big then and it just took some time to gel and a good few years to progress to a different level.”

The hard work paid off as Moxham quickly climbed the ranks, leading to a senior Ulster debut last December, and he says he has really felt the benefits of training with the province’s senior squad this season.

“Training with the seniors has helped me massively. I think it’s maybe a year and a half I’ve been training with the seniors and the difference you can tell in myself.

“The standard of the training and the guys that are able to help you, it’s really good. You’ve got [Jacob] Stockdale, [Ian] Madigan, James Hume, who are really eager to help you as a young player.”

michael-gray-tackles-ben-moxham Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Moxham started the opening two games against Scotland and Wales. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

And while all wingers like to see their name on the scoresheet, Moxham – who is in his second year with the Ireland U20s – says he strives to make his work on the other side of the ball his point of difference

“If you can’t do much in attack, you can try and stand out in defence,” he explains.

“I would try and pride myself in my defensive game, I think that’s probably my strong point. When you’re not getting a lot of the ball, you just try and demand your defensive line. You try and make some good reads, get the ball back for you.”

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So, what to expect against England, the only other unbeaten team in the championship, on Thursday?

“They’ve looked pretty sharp and looked pretty (good), to be fair to them. They’ve taken their chances and they’ve scored some good tries. 

“They’re definitely a good side. Probably the best side we’re going to face. They like to play. They like to kick and they’re physical as well. It’s a big test that we’re coming up against.

“They’ve won two games, two bonus points as well. Same as us. It’s all to play for.”

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