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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
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Captain Ryan fit to start for Ireland in World U20 opener against Wales
Nigel Carolan’s side get their tournament underway in Manchester tomorrow.

IRELAND U20 CAPTAIN James Ryan has been named in the XV to face Wales tomorrow.

Nigel Carolan’s side play their World Rugby U20 Championship opener at the Manchester City Academy Stadium [KO 5.30pm, TG4/Sky Sports].

Lansdowne and Leinster second row Ryan was said to be the side’s main injury concern as he was troubled by a calf injury but he will lead the Irish side tomorrow evening. 

“The game against Wales is a hugely important test for this team,” says Carolan, “and we’ve been building towards it since we came together as a squad a number of weeks ago. Wales are the Grand Slam champions so it’s going to be a challenging game, but one the players are looking forward to.

“There’s a good mix to the team that’s been selected – the likes of Andrew, Adam and Jacob were here last year and can bring that experience into the squad, while there will also be some players winning new caps and we’re looking forward to seeing what they can do in the green jersey.”

Leinster back row David Aspil and Munster out-half Bill Johnston will win their first U20 caps tomorrow.

Ryan is partnered in the second row by Connacht’s Cillian Gallagher, who moves into the number four jersey having played at flanker during the Six Nations. The game, which will be live on TG4 and Sky Sports 1, kicks off at 5.30pm.

Ireland U20:

15. Jacob Stockdale (Belfast Harlequins / Ulster)
14. Matthew Byrne (Terenure / Leinster)
13. Shane Daly (Cork Con / Munster)
12. Conor O’Brien (Clontarf / Leinster)
11. Hugo Keenan (UCD / Leinster)
10. Bill Johnston (Garryowen / Munster)*
9. Stephen Kerins (Sligo / Connacht)

1. Andrew Porter (UCD / Leinster)
2. Adam McBurney (Ballymena / Ulster)
3. Conor Kenny (Buccaneers / Connacht)
4. Cillian Gallagher (Sligo / Connacht)
5. James Ryan (Lansdowne / Leinster) (captain)
6. Greg Jones (UCD / Leinster)
7. David Aspil (St.Mary’s RFC / Leinster)*
8. Max Deegan (Lansdowne / Leinster)

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Replacements:

16. Vincent O’Brien (Cork Con / Munster)*
17. Vakh Abdaladze (Clontarf / Leinster)*
18. Ben Betts (Young Munster / Munster)
19. Sean O’Connor (Cashel / Munster)
20. Kelvin Brown (Shannon / Munster)
21. Niall Saunders (Epsom College / Exiles)
22. Johnny McPhillips (Queens University / Ulster)
23. Jimmy O’Brien (UCD / Leinster)

* Denotes uncapped at this level.

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