4 Connacht players have been selected by Mike Ruddock to take on France this weekend at U20 level.

Danny Qualter, David Heffernan, Tiernan O’Halloran and Aaron Conneely have been called up to the starting XV that was announced yesterday.

(from www.irishrugby.ie)

The Ireland Under-20 team, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, has been announced for Friday’s match against France. Head coach Mike Ruddock has made eight changes to the squad from last week’s win in Italy.

The changes include five new faces in the starting line-up and three new players in the replacements.

Michael Sherlock comes in at full-back with Connacht’s Tiernan O’Halloran, a member of last year’s Under-20 squad, named on the right wing.

Nathaniel McDonald comes in at centre to partner Alex Kelly, with Ulster duo Paddy Jackson and Blane McIlroy getting their second start together at half-back.

A new-look back row sees David Heffernan start at blindside flanker, with Aaron Conneely at openside flanker and Jordi Murphy moving to number 8.

David O’Mahony starts in the second row alongside local boy Daniel Qualter, while Shane Buckley, James McKinney and JJ Hanrahan are included on the replacements bench.

Friday’s match in Athlone will broadcast live on RTE Two, with coverage starting at 7.30pm. France currently top the table following their 49-5 defeat of Scotland last week, with Mike Ruddock’s side in second place.

The Irish youngsters started their campaign with a 28-9 victory over Italy in Parma.

IRELAND UNDER-20 Team & Replacements (v France U-20s, 2011 RBS U-20 6 Nations Championship, Dubarry Park, Athlone, Friday, February 11, kick-off 7.45pm):

15 – Michael Sherlock (Clontarf/Leinster)
14 – Tiernan O’Halloran (Galwegians/Connacht)
13 – Alex Kelly (UCD/Leinster)
12 – Nathaniel McDonald (Exile)
11 – Andrew Boyle (UCD/Leinster)
10 – Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster)
9 – Blane McIlroy (Ballymena/Ulster)
1 – James Tracy (UCD/Leinster)
2 – Niall Annett (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
3 – Conor Carey (Ballymena/Ulster)
4 – David O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)
5 – Daniel Qualter (Buccaneers/Connacht)
6 – David Heffernan (Lansdowne/Connacht)

7 – Aaron Conneely (Corinthians/Connacht)
8 – Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)


16 – David Doyle (UCD/Leinster)
17 – Finlay Bealham (Exile)
18 – Iain Henderson (Queen’s University/Ulster)
19 – Shane Buckley (Garryowen/Munster)
20 – Peter du Toit (UCD/Leinster)
21 – James McKinney (Queen’s University/Ulster)
22 – JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster)


The Jes reach last four with last minute winner