It was confirmed this afternoon, Wednesday, that Carrick-on-Shannon’s Shane Layden will start at full-back for Ireland against Italy in the RBS 6 Nations U-20 Championship in Athlone on Friday evening in Dubarry park, Athlone, kick-off 7.05pm.
Head Coach, Mike Ruddock has made a number of changes to the side that beat France 12-13 in the last round of the championship. Tadgh Beirne makes his first start of the season to partner Ian Henderson in the second row with a new look back row seeing Jordan Coughlan partner Conor Gilsean and Jack Conan. Changes to the backs see Foster Horan named in the wing with Kieran Marmion returning to the scrum half position.
Speaking ahead of Fridays Game, Ruddock said “We are looking forward to this week’s test and in particular looking forward to backing up our two previous displays.”
“We achieved victory in our last two games because we have outworked the opposition and expect the same this week along with a quality display of skills.”
Friday’s game will be broadcast live from Dubarry Park on RTE.ie (Island of Ireland only).
The Ireland team is as follows:
15 - Shane Layden (Buccaneers - Connacht); 14 - Conor Finn (Buccaneers - Connacht); 13 - Chris Farrell (Dungannon - Ulster); 12 - JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians - Munster); 11 - Foster Horan (Lansdowne - Leinster); 10 - Paddy Jackson (Dungannon - Ulster) (Capt); 9 - Kieran Marmion (Corinthians - Connacht); 1 -Kyle McCall (QUB - Ulster); 2 - Niall Scannell (Dolphin - Munster); 3 - Peter Reilly (Lansdowne - Leinster); 4 - Tadgh Beirne (Lansdowne - Leinster); 5 - Iain Henderson (QUB - Ulster); 6 - Jordan Coghlan (UCD - Leinster); 7 - Conor Gilsenan (UCD - Leinster); 8 - Jack Conan (Old Belvedere - Leinster).
Replacements: 16 - James Rael (Garryowen - Munster); 17 - Des Merrey (Clontarf - Leinster); 18 - Jake Cawley (Old Belvedere - Leinster); 19 - Daniel Qualter (Buccaneers - Connacht); 20 - Aaron Conneely (Corinthians - Connacht); 21 - Luke McGrath (UCD - Leinster); 22 - Cathal Marsh (Trinity - Leinster); 23 - Stuart Olding (Belfast Harlequins - Ulster).
Ireland’s remaining games in the U-20 RBS 6 Nations Championship are as follows: Ireland v Italy, Dubarry Park, February 24 (7.05pm); Ireland v Scotland, Dubarry Park, March 9 (7.05pm); England v Ireland, Adams Park, March 16 (8.05pm).