The Ireland Under-20 team, sponsored by PwC, has been named by Head Coach Nigel Carolan.

There are two changes in the backline from the last outing, where they overcame their Italian counterparts, 15-47 last Friday.

Munster’s Steven Fitzgerald, who will get his first cap at this level, is named on the wing, replacing Greg O’Shea who picked up an injury during last week’s game.

Sam Arnold from Leinster makes his first start of the tournament to partner Garry Ringrose in the centre. Fergal Cleary is named in the replacements.

Connacht Academy forward and last week’s try scorer Rory Moloney is retained in the back row at openside flanker while Sligo-born prop Conan O’Donnell and Buccaneers’ lock Cian Romaine are once again named on the bench after an impressive showing last week.

Speaking about the fixture, Carolan said “It was great to get the tournament off to a winning start. We are looking forward to playing the French side at home. The guys have been working very hard but, we have no doubt we have a tough battle on our hands against a strong, physical side.”

The Ireland U-20 v France U-20 game will broadcast live on RTE 2 on Friday evening, coverage starting at 19.00hrs.

Ireland Under-20 team & Replacements (v France Under-20.  Dubarry Park, Athlone – Kick-off 19.05hrs)

15 – Billy Dardis (UCD/ Leinster)
14 – Jack Owens (QUB/ Ulster)
13 – Garry Ringrose (UCD/ Leinster)
12 – Sam Arnold (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
11 – Steven Fitzgerald (Shannon/ Munster)
10 – Ross Byrne (UCD / Leinster)
9 – Nick McCarthy (UCD/ Leinster) (Capt)

1 – Jeremy Loughman (UCD / Leinster)
2 – Zack McCall (QUB/Ulster)
3 – Oisin Heffernan (Terenure/Leinster)
4 – David O’Connor (St. Mary’s/Leinster)
5 – Alex Thompson (QUB/Ulster)
6 – Josh Murphy (UCD/Leinster)
7 – Rory Moloney (Buccaneers/Connacht)
8 – Lorcan Dow (QUB/Ulster)

Replacements

16 – Adam McBurney (Ballymena/Ulster)
17 – Michael Lagan (Ballymena/Ulster)
18 – Conan O’Donnell (Sligo/NUIG/Connacht)
19 – Cian Romaine (Buccaneers/Connacht)
20 – Nick Timoney (St. Mary’s/Leinster)
21 – Jack Cullen (Shannon/Munster)
22 – Joey Carbery (UCD/Leinster)
23 – Fergal Cleary (Lansdowne / Leinster)

RBS 6 Nations Ireland Under-20 Fixtures and Results:

Fri 6 Feb Italy U20 15    Ireland U20 47

Fri 13 Feb 19:05 Ireland U20 v France U20 Dubarry Park

Fri 27 Feb 19:05 Ireland U20 v England U20 Donnybrook

Fri 13 Mar 19:45 Wales U20 v Ireland U20 Parc Eirias

Fri 20 Mar 19:30 Scotland U20 v Ireland U20 Netherdale

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