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).

Rory Moloney is one of three Connacht Rugby Academy members called into Mike Ruddock’s U20’s squad for the competition. This Friday night at Dubarry Park, there will be plenty of local focus on the 19-year-old who plays his club rugby with Buccaneers RFC.

An abrasive number 7, Moloney was offered a contract by Academy Manager Nigel Carolan last summer. Hailing from Abbeyleix in Laois, he was a member of the Cistercian College Roscrea team that was narrowly beaten by eventual winners Blackrock College in the semi-final of the Leinster Schools Cup last year.

He featured on various underage teams for Leinster and Connacht and also represented Ireland at U18 Schools level for the last 2 years.

Just last month, Moloney was selected to captain the Ireland U-19’s team against Australia Schools.

With Connacht, this season he has played a pivotal role with the Connacht Eagles in the British & Irish Cup, most recently in the 12 – 10 home win over Llanelli two weeks ago.

Moloney balances rugby with his studies in NUIG where he is in year one of Commerce.

Speaking about his first few months with the Connacht Academy, Rory said:

 “There’s definitely a step up coming from schools rugby in to this professional set up. Playing with bigger players, it’s very physical and there’s a big step up in skill level.

“Training altogether means there’s not a huge difference between the academy and the senior team. You feel you could get your chance any minute so you really have to give it your all in training and make each day count. A few of the Academy lads, like Jack, Darragh and Eoghan Masterson, have gone through to the senior team this season and that’s really encouraging for us all in the Academy. It comes down to how much you want it and how hard you work for it.

“I’m really happy to be included in the Ireland U20s squad and to be there with the other Connacht lads as well. I hope to get on the starting team and if I can do that, I hope to play well through the 6 Nations.”

RBS U20 Six Nations Championship

With two home matches on successive Fridays to start their campaign, Ireland has a great opportunity to get off to a flying start in their bid for the title.

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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