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Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
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Carolan makes two changes to exciting Ireland U20s side for French test
The Irish head coach has opted for a new face in midfield, while being forced into a change on the wing.

IRELAND U20s coach Nigel Carolan has made two changes to the team that beat Italy last weekend ahead of the Six Nations encounter with France in Athlone on Friday night [KO 19.05, RTÉ 2].

Josh Murphy Matteo Ciambelli / INPHO Josh Murphy remains at blindside after impressing in Italy. Matteo Ciambelli / INPHO / INPHO

Munster’s highly-rated Stephen Fitzgerald comes in on the left wing for his first cap at U20 international level, replacing his provincial teammate Greg O’Shea in the team after the former Crescent College pace merchant sustained a head injury in Italy.

That means dynamic Ulster wing Jack Owens switches over to the right-hand side.

The only other change from the convincing seven-try 47-15 win in difficult conditions against the Italians sees Ulsterman Sam Arnold replacing Leinster’s Fergal Cleary in the 12 shirt, the latter moving to the bench.

Ireland will once again be directed by scrum-half and captain Nick McCarthy, as well as out-half Ross Byrne, who impressed at Stadio Pozzi Lamarmora last time out.

Fabien Pelous’ France scored seven tries of their own last weekend in a 47-6 hammering of Scotland, and will arrive at Dubarry Park with a combination of forward power and flair out wide in the likes of Arthur Bonneval and Thomas Ramos.

Nick McCarthy prepairs to put into the scrum Matteo Ciambelli / INPHO Captain Nick McCarthy will be essential to Ireland's chances of success. Matteo Ciambelli / INPHO / INPHO

Ireland U20 team to face France:

15. Billy Dardis (UCD/ Leinster)
14. Jack Owens (QUB/ Ulster)
13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/ Leinster)
12. Sam Arnold (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
11. Stephen Fitzgerald (Shannon/ Munster)
10. Ross Byrne (UCD / Leinster)
9. Nick McCarthy (UCD/ Leinster) (captain)
1. Jeremy Loughman (UCD / Leinster)
2. Zack McCall (QUB/Ulster)
3. Oisin Heffernan (Terenure/Leinster)
4. David O’Connor (St. Mary’s/Leinster)
5. Alex Thompson (QUB/Ulster)
6. Josh Murphy (UCD/Leinster)
7. Rory Moloney (Buccaneers/Connacht)
8. Lorcan Dow (QUB/Ulster)

Replacements:                 

16. Adam McBurney (Ballymena/Ulster)
17. Michael Lagan (Ballymena/Ulster)
18. Conan O’Donnell (Sligo/NUIG/Connacht)
19. Cian Romaine (Buccaneers/Connacht)
20. Nick Timoney (St. Mary’s/Leinster)
21. Jack Cullen (Shannon/Munster)
22. Joey Carbery (UCD/Leinster)
23. Fergal Cleary (Lansdowne / Leinster)

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France:

15. Thomas Ramos (Toulouse)
14. Arthur Bonneval (Toulouse)
13. Elliot Roudil (La Rochelle)
12. François Fontaine (Clermont)
11. Lucas Blanc (Bordeaux)
10. Lucas Meret (Bordeaux)
9. Anthony Meric (Toulon)

1. Rodrigue Neti (Toulouse)
2. Julien Marchand (Toulouse)
3. Michaël Simutoga (Clermont)
4. Tristan Labouteley (Montpellier)
5. Cyril Cazeaux (Dax)
6. Sékou Macalou (Massy)
7. Lucas Bachelier (Perpignan)
8. Fabien Sanconnié (Brive)

Replacements:

16. Camille Chat (Racing Métro)
17. Thibault Estorge (Clermont)
18. Quentin Bethune (Agen)
19. Julien Delannoy (Montpellier)
20. Martin Devergie (Montpellier)
21. Antoine Dupont (Castres)
22. Damian Penaud (Clermont)
23. Valentin Saurs (Agen)

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