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The most talented U18 players in Ireland selected for Easter tournaments
Two Ireland U18 squads will take part in the 5 Nations and Tri Nations Festivals.

TWO SEPARATE IRELAND U18 squads have been announced for the upcoming Five Nations and Tri Nations Festivals.

Whereas previously Ireland operated Schools and Clubs sides at U18 level, this programme features two groups combining players drawn from both the club and school games.

What is essentially an Ireland U18 ‘A’ squad will compete in the Five Nations Festival, while the ‘B’ group will be part of the Tri Nations Festival over Easter.

Hugh O'Sullivan scores their fifth try Ryan Byrne / INPHO Belvo's Hugh O'Sullivan is part of the squad for the 5 Nations. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

A 26-player squad featuring Leinster Schools Senior Cup winners Hugh O’Sullivan and David Hawkshaw of Belvedere College will travel to the Five Nations Festival in Bristol and Caerphilly from Thursday 24 March to Saturday 2 April.

Six players from Blackrock College have been picked, with Conor Dean – son of former Ireland and Lions international Paul – among them.

Roscrea’s promising prop Michael Milne is part of a four-strong Munster contingent in a group that will be head coached by Noel McNamara, while club players like Tadgh McCarthy of Bantry and Sean Masterson of Portlaoise RFC are named.

Also included in the Irish selection for the Five Nations tournament is centre James Hume, who helped RBAI to the Ulster Schools Senior Cup, and highly-rated prop Tom O’Toole, whose Campbell College side lost out in the final.

There is a single Connacht representative in the shape of Galwegians lock David Robb, while Exiles products James Newey, Ollie Brown and Conor Wharton also help make up the 26-man squad.

Meanwhile, Mark Butler will head coach a separate Ireland U18 squad that competes in the Tri Nations Festival against France and England in Ashbourne RFC on Saturday 26 March and Saturday 2 April.

Sam Dardis gets past Cian Buckley Gary Carr / INPHO Sam Dardis is part of the Ireland U18 B squad. Gary Carr / INPHO / INPHO

Roscrea lock Aaron Browne, a losing LSSC finalist, is part of the squad, while fourth year Terenure College fullback Sam Dardis – brother of Leinster academy man Billy – is another promising player.

Scrum-half Rhys O’Donnell was integral to RBAI’s USSC success against Campbell College, while PBC out-half Peter Sylvester featured for the Munster U18 Schools side earlier this year.

Armagh RFC prop Paul Mullan, Castleisland back row Jack Daly and Navan lock J.J. O’Dea are among the club representatives in the squad. Corey Reid, the Marist College and Buccaneers centre, is the lone Connacht representative.

Ireland U18 squad for Five Nations Festival:

Ollie Brown (Harpenden RFC / Exiles)
Alexander Clarke (Ballymena Academy / Ulster)
Eoghan Clarke (CBC Monkstown / Leinster)
Ronan Coffey (Ard Scoil Ris / Munster)
Matthew Dalton (Belfast Royal Academy / Ulster)
Conor Dean (Blackrock College / Leinster)
Caelan Doris (Blackrock College / Leinster)
Richard Dunne (Blackrock College / Leinster)
David Hawkshaw (Belvedere College / Leinster)
James Hume (RBAI / Ulster)
Daniel Hurley (Cresent CC / Munster)
Ronan Kelleher (St. Michael’s College / Leinster)
Sean Masterson (Portlaoise RFC)
Tadgh McCarthy (Bantry RFC / Munster)
John McCusker (Rainey Old Boys / Ulster)
Michael Milne (Roscrea / Munster)
James Newey (Christ College Brecon / Exiles)
Tommy O’Brien (Blackrock College / Leinster)
Hugh O’Sullivan (Belvedere College / Leinster)
Tom O’Toole (Campbell College / Ulster)
Callum Reid (RBAI / Ulster)
David Robb (Galwegians / Connacht)
Charlie Ryan (Blackrock College / Leinster)
Jonathon Stewart (Wallace High School / Ulster)
Liam Turner (Blackrock College / Leinster)
Conor Wharton (Oaklands College / Exiles)

Five Nations fixtures:

Ireland U18 v England U18 – Bristol, 24 March, 2pm
Ireland U18 v Scotland U18 – Caerphilly,  29 March, 2pm
Ireland U18 v Italy U18 – Caerphilly, 2 April, 11am

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Ireland U18 squad for Tri Nations Festival:

Diarmuid Barron (Rockwell College / Munster)
Aaron Browne (Roscrea / Leinster)
Evin Coyle (Gonzaga / Leinster)
Alex Crocker (Henley College / Exiles)
Jack Daly (Castleisland / Munster)
Sam Dardis (Terenure / Leinster)
Jack Dunne (St.Michael’s College / Leinster)
Cathal Duff (Clongowes / Leinster)
Bruce Houston (Ballymena Academy / Ulster)
David McCarthy (Skibbereen RFC / Munster)
Stephen McLaughlin (Blackrock College / Leinster)
Paul Mullan (Armagh RFC / Ulster)
Andrew Murphy (Blackrock College / Leinster)
Fergus O’Brien (Whitgift School / Exiles)
Thomas O’Callaghan (CBC Monkstown / Leinster)
JJ O’Dea (Navan / Leinster)
Rhys O’Donnell (RBAI / Ulster)
Jack O’Sullivan (PBC / Munster)
Conor Philips (Crescent College / Munster)
Cory Reid (Buccaneers & Marist College / Connacht)
Michael Sylvester (Clongowes Wood College / Leinster)
Peter Sylvester (PBC / Munster)

Tri Nations fixtures:

Ireland U18 v France U18 – Ashbourne RFC, 26 March, 2pm
Ireland U18 v England U18 – Ashbourne RFC, 2 April, 2pm


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