IRELAND U-20’s kick off this season’s RBS Junior Six Nations Championship when they square up to Scotland at Dubarry Park, Athlone, on Friday night. Kick of for this ELECTRIC IRELAND home series fixture is 7 p.m. 

With two home matches on successive Fridays to start their campaign, (Wales are here on Friday week) Ireland has a great opportunity to get off to a flyer in their bid for this title. Mike Ruddock, who led Wales to a Senior grand slam, is again coach to Ireland who will be captained by flanker Dan Leavy. He is one of six players who featured in last summer’s Junior World Cup, Peter Dooley, Alex Wootton, Adam Byrne, Peadar Timmins and Jack O’Donoghue being the others. There is a reasonable blend of experience in the side as Timmins and Dooley also played in the Six Nations last spring. UCD and Lansdowne both have seven players in the panel but much local interest will focus on Buccaneers duo Rory Moloney and Jacob Walshe as well as prop Dooley from Birr.

Moloney is an exciting flanker who is current Ireland U-19 captain. A native of Abbeyleix, he has also played for Ireland U-18 as well as featuring on various underage Leinster and Connacht teams. He played with Connacht Eagles in the British & Irish Cup as well as for Buccs in the Ulster Bank League. His previous club is Portlaoise. Prop Walshe is also a Connacht Academy player and has been named in British & Irish Cup squads by the province. He played with Ballinasloe before joining Buccaneers and has represented Ireland at both U-18 and U-19 grades. Both Walshe and Moloney were anchor performers for the Cistercian College, Roscrea, team that reached last year’s Leinster Senior Schools Cup final.   

Sean O’Brien of Galwegians is another exciting prospect and the young Connacht back-rower also has midlands connections in the Birr area. Meanwhile, Harrison Brewer (son of legendary All-Black Mike) is another interesting inclusion in the Ireland squad, who will be favoured to prevail over Scotland. However, they will underestimate the Scots at their peril but the home nation has a wonderful record at “fortress” Dubarry Park.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at Buccaneers RFC and/or The Bounty. Tickets can also be bought at the turnstiles on match nights, but do come along early especially as Pyrotechnics prior to kick off will add to the fantastic atmosphere. 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 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. So let’s see and hear another bumper crowd roaring on ‘the boys in green’!

Friday, January 31st        Ireland v Scotland          Dubarry Park, Athlone    kick off 7 p.m.

Friday, February 7th        Ireland v Wales              Dubarry Park, Athlone    kick off 7.30 p.m.

Friday, March 7th              Ireland v Italy               Dubarry Park, Athlone    kick off 7 p.m.

How is this for an Ireland team? 

This selection is a ‘dream team’ picked from players who have graced Dubarry Park for Ireland U-20’s in recent seasons and gone on to win Senior caps. It just confirms the talent that can be witnessed up close and personal in Athlone at these ELECTRIC IRELAND U-20 international home series matches!

15 Felix Jones

14 Dave Kearney

13 Robbie Henshaw

12 Ian Madigan

11 Simon Zebo

10 Jonathan Sexton

9  Conor Murray

8  Rhys Ruddock

7  Sean O’Brien

6  Peter O’Mahony

5  Dan Touhy

4  Devin Toner

3  Martin Moore

2  Sean Cronin

1  Cian Healy 

Replacements:- Keith Earls, Fergus McFadden, Darren Cave, Paddy Jackson, J.J.Hanrahan, Ian Keatley, Stuart Olding, Paul Marshall, Iain Henderson, Tommy O’Donnell, Stephen Archer, Jack McGrath, Jamie Hagan.   

Related

Register for “Redefining Success in Coaching with Dr Jean Côté”