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Dublin: 3°C Thursday 15 April 2021

Two changes for Ireland U20s as captain Dan Leavy's Six Nations ends

The Leinster flanker is struggling with a shoulder injury and will miss the remaining two games.

Captain Dan Leavy is out for the last two games of the Six Nations.
Captain Dan Leavy is out for the last two games of the Six Nations.
Image: ©INPHO/CameraSport/Chris Vaughan

IRELAND U20 COACH Mike Ruddock has made two changes to his starting team ahead of Friday night’s clash with Italy, as captain Dan Leavy has been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament.

The Leinster flanker is suffering from a shoulder injury he sustained in the 33-9 defeat to England, with his place in the back row going to Buccaneers’ Rory Moloney. Second row Sean O’Brien, who plays his club rugby with Galwegians, takes over the captaincy.

The only other change to the starting team sees UL Bohemians No. 8 Jack O’Donoghue return after completing his post-concussion protocols.

On the bench, Stephen Gardiner of Lansdowne replaces Joe Joyce, while Ulsterman Frankie Taggart finds himself amongst the replacements after starting the England clash in O’Donoghue’s absence.

Speaking about Friday night’s clash, Ruddock stressed the need for his side to be more clinical.

“The end result against England did not reflect the effort and endeavour shown by this Irish side at Franklins Gardens. We must take our chances when they come along and although we did well to draw with Italy last year we would be confident that at Dubarry Park we can get the desired result.”

Ireland U20 (v Italy): David Busby (QUB, Ulster); Cian Kelleher (Lansdowne, Leinster), Dan Goggin (Young Munster/Munster), Peter Robb (Old Belvedere, Leinster), Adam Byrne (UCD, Leinster); Ross Byrne, Nick McCarthy (both UCD, Leinster); Peter Dooley (Lansdowne, Leinster), Max Abbott (Cork Con, Munster), Rory Burke (Cork Con, Munster); Sean O’Brien (Galwegians, Connacht, capt.), Ross Malony; Peadar Timmins (both UCD, Leinster), Rory Moloney (Buccaneers/Connacht), Jack O’Donoghue (UL Bohs, Munster).

Replacements: Sean McNulty (UCD, Munster), Denis Coulsen (Lansdowne, Leinster), Oisin Heffernan (Lansdowne, Leinster), Stephen Gardiner (Lansdowne/Leinster), Frankie Taggart (Belfast ‘Quins, Ulster), Jack Cullen (Bruff, Munster), Conor McKeon (Lansdowne, Leinster), Harrison Brewer (Terenure/Leinster).

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Murray Kinsella

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