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The most talented U18 club players in Ireland have been picked for the Three Union Festival

The Irish side face two tough fixtures against England and France early next month.

THE IRELAND U18 Clubs set-up has announced a 24-man squad ahead of the Three Union Festival in Gloucester early next month.

Ciaran Flawley kicks a penalty Luke Carty, pictured kicking here, is part of the Ireland squad. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The vast majority of the side that lost 19-13 to Italy U18 at Ashbourne RFC in February has been retained for the the clashes against France on 1 April and England on 4 April.

Head coach Wayne Mitchell, assistants Brendan O’Connor and Jamie Turkington, and team manager Dermot Kelly will hope to build from that performance against Italy ahead of two tough fixtures.

Last September’s inter-provincial champions Leinster again provide a strong contingent to the Ireland squad, including Skerries out-half Ciaran Frawley, Navan fullback Conor Nash and Mullingar inside centre Sean O’Brien, who was a try-scorer against Italy in February.

Up front, Navan duo Conor Farrell and Conor Hand will provide proven quality in the back row, along with fellow Leinster man Paul Boyle [Gorey].

Buccaneers outside centre Luke Carty, younger brother of Connacht out-half Jack, has been named among the 10 backs in the Ireland group, alongside Exiles trio Otto Gray, Jack Combes and Niall Saunders, who started at scrum-half against the Italians.

Skibereen out-half Liam Coombes is included thanks to his strong season, while Cill Dara wing Peter Howard and Sligo RFC’s Darragh Cummins round off the back division.

Conor Farrell Conor Farrell back row Conor Farrell will be a key influence. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Shannon back row Alan Fitzgerald makes the squad among the back row options, as Wexford prop Greg McGrath and Highfield man Ian McCarthy will provide scrummaging power again.

February’s locking pair of Joe Carley [Enniscorthy] and Jack Regan [Birr] are retained, while Jack Aungier of Suttonians, Exile Dominic Gorard, Longford’s Eoin Corcoran, Tadgh McElroy of Dundalk and Bruff’s Dylan Reeves Wasik were all capped off the bench against Italy.

Conor Maguire of Boyne will look to win his first cap.

The Three Union Festival will take place in the prestigious Hartpury College in Gloucester.

Ireland U18 Clubs squad

Forwards:

Jack Aungier (Suttonians)
Paul Boyle (Gorey)
Joe Carley (Enniscorthy)
Eoin Corcoran (Longford)
Conor Farrell (Navan) (Shannon)
Dominic Gorard (St. Benedicts)
Conor Hand (Navan)
Conor Maguire (Boyne)
Ian McCarthy (Highfield)
Tadgh McElroy (Dundalk)
Greg McGrath (Wexford Wanderers)
Dylan Reeves Wasik (Bruff)
Jack Regan (Birr)

Backs:              

Luke Carty (Buccaneers)
Jack Combes (Hartpury College)
Liam Coombes (Skibbereen)
Darragh Cummins (Sligo)
Ciaran Frawley (Skerries)
Otto Gray (Canford School)
Peter Howard (Cill Dara)
Conor Nash (Navan)
Sean O’Brien (Mullingar)
Niall Saunders (Epsom College)

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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