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Leamy and Tucker to assist head coach Richie Murphy for Ireland's U20 Six Nations campaign

The U20s championship is slated to take place over June and July.

Leamy will be the defence coach for Ireland's U20 Six Nations campaign.
Leamy will be the defence coach for Ireland's U20 Six Nations campaign.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Updated 17.27

FORMER MUNSTER AND Ireland back row Denis Leamy and Connacht coach Colm Tucker will assist head coach Richie Murphy for Ireland’s upcoming U20s Six Nations campaign.

Both Leamy and Tucker were brought in to the setup following Noel McNamara’s departure earlier this year, and they will continue their respective roles as defence coach and forwards coach.

Murphy confirmed details of his coaching ticket on Sunday following a three-day training camp at the IRFU’s High Performance Centre. Tom Tierney was also involved in the coaching group this week, with the IRFU confirming that was in his role as national talent coach.

The U20s championship is slated to take place over June and July, with the first round of matches kicking off on 19 June.

A total of 37 players took part in this week’s camp in Dublin.

“This camp has been all about bringing the group back together,” Murphy told the IRFU’s official website.

“Last week we had guys from outside of the Academies so now we have combined the group. It’s probably the first time we have had closer to what will travel to the Six Nations with.

“The guys have come in and mixed in really well and we are just trying get them used to our calls and get a feel for how we want to play the game.”

Tucker, who will join Andy Friend’s senior coaching staff in Connacht next season following his Academy role at the province, said there is ‘huge excitement’ among the U20s group.

“The biggest challenge so far has obviously been what Covid has done to everything and players training remotely but it’s also a massive opportunity and there is huge excitement in the group just to be playing rugby, to be mixing again around national squads who they wouldn’t have been around for the past 18 months.

“It is definitely a challenge but I try to see it as a brilliant opportunity to play in a huge international tournament.

“I’m looking forward to this championship and I can’t wait to get my teeth into it but I’ll get a couple of weeks off after it and then really get into the nitty gritty with Connacht.

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“I’m really pleased and thankful to be moving on in the professional ranks. Thankful to Connacht and the IRFU for providing the opportunity along with Andy Friend and the coaching staff so at the moment I can just see a really exciting time in my future, a lot of hard work to come but I can’t wait to get into it.”

– Updated 17.27: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Tom Tierney is part of the U20s coaching team. An IRFU update issued on Sunday morning described Tierney as a member of the “coaching group”, but the IRFU have since clarified that Tierney was participating in this week’s camp in his role as national talent coach.

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