The Ireland under 20’s kick off this season’s RBS U20 Six Nations Championship when they square up to Scotland at Dubarry Park, Athlone, on Friday night (kick off 7pm).

Connacht Academy prop Jacob Walshe has been named on the bench for the Friday night fixture and if brought on, will be given a warm welcome at the Buccaneers RFC venue where the 19-year-old plays his club rugby.

The dynamic loose-head was educated in Garbally College before moving to Cistercian College Roscrea for his final year in school. Prior to signing with the Connacht Academy under Nigel Carolan last summer, Walshe represented Ireland at both Ireland U18 Clubs and U19.

Speaking about his background, he said “I was born in the States but came to Ireland when I was four year’s old. My Dad is from Ballinasloe in Galway and we came back to work on the farm here.

“I went to Garbally for five years and then spent my last year in Roscrea where I played a good bit of rugby and completed my Leaving Cert.”

“I’ve been in the Connacht set up since U15’s so it was brilliant to get an Academy contract.

“Coming into a fully professional system is tough at times but a fantastic opportunity. Training with the senior squad is challenging but overall it’s so beneficial. At the start it was a bit daunting but as you go on you start to slot in and you begin to see the improvements in your game. It’s great that there are senior guys I can go to for tips on scrummaging and other areas.”

Walshe is one of three Connacht Rugby Academy members called into Mike Ruddock’s U20’s squad for this year’s Six Nations championship.

“I was delighted to be called into the U20’s squad”, he said. “There are only three of us Connacht lads in there but it’s great to be involved. It’s our job to represent Connacht well and do our jobs as best we can.

“There’s big competition in my position, with Peter Dooly who was there last year. But I hope to get my chance to come off the bench and do the job to impress Mike (Ruddock).“


RBS U20 Six Nations Championship

Tickets for the Ireland U20 home games can be purchased in advance at Buccaneers RFC and/or The Bounty. Tickets can also be bought at the turnstiles on match nights.

Stand seats generally sell out in advance of each match. Ticket prices are as follows:
Stand €20; Terrace €15; Children/OAP €5; Family (2 adults + 2 children to ground) €30.

Group discounts are available to clubs/schools, etc. Contact Buccaneers Administrator Geraldine on 0861732711 (during office hours) or email [email protected]

Dubarry Park is very close to the M4 Dublin/Galway motorway. Use Exits 10 or 11 and please obey parking restrictions. There is lots of parking relatively close to the ground but parking at the club is likely to be full 90 minutes before kick-off.

RBS U20 Six Nations Championship – Fixtures

Friday, January 31st        Ireland v Scotland          Dubarry Park, Athlone   KO 19:00

Friday, February 7th        Ireland v Wales               Dubarry Park, Athlone   KO 19:35

Saturday, February 22nd   England v Ireland              Franklin’s Gardens          KO 18:15

Friday, March 7th             Ireland v Italy                  Dubarry Park, Athlone   KO 19:00

Friday March 14th             France v Ireland                 Maurice Trelut                  KO 20:55


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