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Dublin: -1 °C Monday 18 November, 2019
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Power boost for Ireland U20s, but injury forces changes in the pack

Leinster back row Greg Jones and Munster prop Ben Betts look set to make their debut away to England.

IRELAND UNDER 20 coach Nigel Carolan has made five changes from the side who lost to France last time out.

Eliott Roudil and James Ryan James Ryan looks to pass after a tackle against France. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Captain James Ryan and openside Will Connors have shaken off injuries to take their place in the starting pack, Connors replacing Cork Con’s Dan Walsh who drops out of the matchday 23.

Connors’ UCD team-mate Greg Jones comes in to make his U20 debut at number eight for the injured Max Deegan.

Sligo’s Conan O’Donnell will pack down at tighthead after Conor Kenny picked up a training ground injury last week, Young Munster’s Ben Betts will hope to win his U20 debut as Kenny’s replacement at some point against a formidable English pack.

Power shakes hands after losing to England at U18 level. Source: Szymon Gruchalski/INPHO

The biggest boost to the back-line comes at fullback where Jack Power also returns from injury. His recall means Hugo Keenan reverts to the wing with Terenure’s Matthew Byrne edged out to the bench. Connacht’s Stephen Kerins is preferred to John Poland as Johnny McPhillips’ half-back partner in Newcastle.

Ireland U20 (v England, Friday 18.05, Sky Sports 3) 

15. Jack Power (UCD / Leinster)
14. Hugo Keenan (UCD / Leinster)
13. Shane Daly (Cork Con / Munster)
12. Jimmy O’Brien (UCD / Leinster)
11. Conor O’Brien (Clontarf / Leinster)
10. Johnny McPhillips (QUB / Ulster)
9. Stephen Kerins (Sligo / Connacht)

1. Andrew Porter (UCD / Leinster)
2. Adam McBurney (Ballymena / Ulster)
3. Conán O’Donnell (Sligo / Connacht)
4. Peter Claffey (Galwegians / Connacht)
5. James Ryan (Lansdowne / Leinster) Captain
6. Cillian Gallagher (Sligo / Connacht)
7. Will Connors (UCD / Leinster)
8. Greg Jones (UCD / Leinster)*

Replacements

16. Shane Fenton (Young Munster / Munster)
17. James Bollard (Dublin University / Leinster)
18. Ben Betts (Munster / Young Munster)*
19. Sean O’Connor (Cashel / Munster)
20. Kelvin Brown (Shannon / Munster)
21. John Poland (Cork Con / Munster)
22. Brett Connon (Newcastle Falcons)
23. Matthew Byrne (Terenure / Leinster)

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U20s hoping big bumps against Ireland senior squad can kick-start campaign

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Sean Farrell

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