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Exciting Ireland U19 squad named for Donnybrook clash with Japan

Head coach Kieran Campbell has included some highly-promising players.

IRELAND U19 COACH Kieran Campbell has named an exciting matchday 23 to face Japan at Donnybrook this Saturday [KO 4.30pm].

Belvedere College’s Hugh O’Sullivan is at scrum-half for Ireland, having starred for his school at fullback during their run to last week’s Leinster Schools Senior Cup success, although he has experience in the nine shirt and elsewhere in the backline.

Belvedere College's Hugh O’Sullivan charges at the St Andrew’s College defence Hugh O'Sullivan starts at scrum-half. Source: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

O’Sullivan’s Belvo captain, flanker Max Kearney, has been included on the Ireland U19 bench for this weekend.

Fullback Conor Wharton of Leeds Beckett University is one of two Exiles named by Ireland, but was part of the Ireland U18s last year and also spent time with the Connacht academy earlier this season, meaning he has good knowledge of the Irish system.

Instonians RFC man Mark Keane and Leinster U19 wing Peter Sullivan, a St. Andrew’s College student, complete the back three for Ireland.

The highly-regarded, goal-kicking James Hume is at outside centre after helping RBAI to success in the Ulster Schools Senior Cup last week, while his school-mate Michael Lowry is at out-half.

The ball-carrying power of Campbell College’s Tom O’Toole is included at tighthead prop, with Bandon Grammar School’s impressive James French on the other side of the scrum, while Diarmuid Barron’s fine form for Garryowen in Division 1A of the Ulster Bank League is rewarded at hooker.

Campbell's Tom O'Toole breaks through the RBAI defence Tom O'Toole carries for Campbell College last year. Source: Presseye/Brian Little/INPHO

Jack Dunne of St. Michael’s College and Matt Dalton of the Belfast Royal Academy make up the second row pairing, having both played at Ireland U18 level last year.

In the back row, Sean Masterson of Corinthians – younger brother of Connacht back row Eoghan – starts at number eight, having made his Ireland U20 debut during this year’s Six Nations.

Aaron Hall of Ballynahinch RFC is at openside after making an impression in Division 1B of the UBL, while Jack Cooke of London Irish RFC is the second Exile in the side, continuing a fine tradition that the IRFU hope will grow in the coming years.

The replacement hooker is Alexander Clarke of Ballymena Academy, while Naas RFC’s Jordan Duggan provides loosehead cover after featuring in Division 1B under Naas head coach Johne Murphy.

Bryan O’Connor is the back-up tighthead, having helped PBC to Munster Schools Senior Cup victory last week, while John McCusker of Rainey RFC is the sub lock and another player from the Ireland U18s last year.

Sean Masterson Connacht's Sean Masterson is at number eight. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The tall James Kenny is replacement scrum-half after a strong LSSC for Gonzaga College, while Angus Curtis is an interesting inclusion on the bench.

Zimbabwe-born Curtis was schooled at Hilton College in South Africa, an institution that has produced eight Springboks, and he played at out-half for the Sharks up to U18 level.

However, Curtis holds an Irish passport and moved to Ireland this season, now playing his rugby with Queen’s University RFC.

Connacht’s exciting Corey Reid, a Marist College man who plays at centre or in the back three, is the 23rd man for Ireland.

Ireland U19 (v Japan):

15. Conor Wharton (Leeds Beckett University/ Exiles)
14. Mark Keane (Instonians RFC/ Ulster)
13. James Hume (RBAI/ Ulster)
12. David McCarthy (Garryowen RFC/ Munster)
11. Peter Sullivan (St. Andrew’s College/ Leinster)
10. Michael Lowry (RBAI/ Ulster)
9. Hugh O’Sullivan (Belvedere College/ Leinster)

1. James French (Bandon Grammar School/ Munster)
2. Diarmuid Barron (Garryowen RFC/ Munster)
3. Tom O’Toole (Campbell College/ Ulster)
4. Matt Dalton (Belfast Royal Academy/ Ulster)
5. Jack Dunne (St Michael’s College/ Leinster)
6. Jack Cooke (London Irish RFC/ Exiles)
7. Aaron Hall (Ballynahinch RFC/ Ulster)
8. Sean Masterson (Corinthians RFC/ Connacht)

Replacements:

16. Alexander Clarke (Ballymena Academy/ Ulster)
17. Jordan Duggan (Naas RFC/ Leinster)
18. Bryan O’Connor (Presentations Brothers Cork/ Munster)
19. John McCusker (Rainey RFC/ Ulster)
20. Max Kearney (Belvedere College/ Leinster)
21. James Kenny (Gonzaga/ Leinster)
22.  Angus Curtis (Queen’s University RFC/ Ulster)
23. Corey Reid (Marist College/ Connacht)

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Murray Kinsella

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