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Dublin: 17 °C Saturday 8 August, 2020
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Ireland U19s announce talented squad to face France over two games

Head coach Colin McEntee has an exciting group to call upon for the fixtures in Dublin this month.

Gary Ringrose, an international at U20 level, is back in the U19 squad.
Gary Ringrose, an international at U20 level, is back in the U19 squad.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

IRELAND U19 COACH Colin McEntee has selected a 35-man squad to take on France over two fixtures on home soil this month.

Five players who were involved in Ireland U20′s recent Six Nations campaign are among those names, while 16 members of the U19 squad that was defeated by Australia Schools in December return.

Leinster Schools Senior Cup champions Blackrock provide two players in powerful tighthead prop Jeremy Loughman and tireless openside flanker Conor Oliver, while beaten finalists Clongowes see out-half/centre Fergal Cleary, No. 8 Stephen McVeigh and prolific wing Cian O’Donoghue included.

Jack Cullen of Bruff, Harrison Brewer of Terenure, Lansdowne’s Oisin Heffernan, as well as UCD’s Gary Ringrose and Sean McNulty are the players who were involved with the Ireland U20 set-up this season already.

Munster are well represented in the squad, with nine players from the southern province having earned selection. Ardscoil Rís fullback Stephen Fitzgerald, who has already trained with Rob Penney’s senior squad, will be of particular interest.

Stephen Fitzgerald makes a break Ardscoil's Stephen Fitzgerald in action during this season's Munster Schools Senior Cup final. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Back row Ben Kilkenny was in impressive form for St. Munchin’s during the Senior Cup, while Shannon wing Greg O’Shea’s searing pace means he will offer real attacking threat against the French.

Connacht provide five players to the Irish group, in Ciaran Gaffney of Galwegians, Roscrea openside Marc Kelly, highly-rated lock Cian Romaine of Buccaneers and Corinthians’ Sean O’Hagan and Pat O’Toole.

Finally, there are a total of 10 Ulster-produced players in McEntee’s squad, with Schools Senior Cup winners Methody represented by Josh Bingham, Alex Thompson, Steven Weir and Michael Lagan.

Ireland U19′s first clash with France takes place at Templeville Road, Dublin on Thursday the 17th of April [KO 2.00pm]. The second game is set for Tuesday the 22nd of April [KO 2.00pm], also at the home ground of St. Mary’s RFC.

Ireland U19 squad to play France:

* denotes that the player was involved in December’s defeat to Australia Schools.

denotes that the player was involved in Ireland U20′s 2014 Six Nations campaign.

Josh Bingham (Methodist College, Ulster)*, Harrison Brewer (Terenure, Leinster) †, Fergal Cleary (Clongowes, Leinster), Jack Cullen (Bruff RFC, Munster)* †, Billy Dardis (UCD, Leinster)*, Josh Davidson (Sullivan Upper, Ulster), Lorcan Dow (Queen’s University, Ulster)*, Stephen Fitzgerald (Ard Scoil Ris, Munster), Ciaran Gaffney (Galwegians RFC, Connacht)*, Oisin Heffernan (Lansdowne FC, Leinster)* †, Marc Kelly (Cistercian College, Connacht), Ben Kilkenny (St Munchins, Munster), Michael Lagan (Methodist College, Ulster)*, Jeremy Loughman (Blackrock College, Leinster)*, Angelo Marica (Belfast Harlequins, Ulster), Steven McMahon (Garryowen, Munster), Sean McNulty (UCD – Munster)* †, Stephen McVeigh (Clongowes, Leinster), Josh Murphy (UCD, Leinster)*, Liam O’Connor (Christian Brothers, Munster), Mike O’Donnell (Crescent College, Munster)*, Cian O’Donoghue (Clongowes, Leinster), Sean O’Hagan (Corinthians, Connacht), Conor Oliver (Blackrock College, Leinster), Greg O’Shea (Shannon, Munster), Pat O’Toole (Corinthians, Connacht), Jack Owens (Campbell College, Ulster)*, Tomas Quinlan (Cork Constitution, Munster), Gary Ringrose (UCD, Leinster)* †, Charlie Rock (Old Belvedere, Leinster), Cian Romaine (Buccaneers, Connacht), Alex Thompson (Methodist College, Ulster)*, Ross Todd (Sullivan Upper School, Ulster), Steven Weir (Methodist College, Ulster)*, Conor Young (Instonians, Ulster)*.

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Murray Kinsella

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