The Ireland Under-20 Team kick off their World Rugby Under 20 Championship on Wednesday (3.30pm local time; 12.30pm Irish time) and the team to face Italy in the opening game of pool B has been named.

Connacht sub-Academy player Sean Masterson is named on the bench. Sean, younger brother of senior Connacht back rower Eoghan, made his Ireland U20 debut against France in February. He started for the Ireland U19s side against Japan in April and last month captained the same side for the two-match tour in France.

Ireland U20 Coach, Peter Malone, has named two players in the opening side who are uncapped at this level. Conor Dean has been named at out-half and Diarmuid Barron has been named at hooker.

In the backs, Jonny Stewart will partner Dean in the half-back partnership. Jack Kelly has been named at full back, with Colm Hogan and Calvin Nash named on the wings. Gavin Mullin and Ciaran Frawley team up again to their central pairing positions.

Up front, Barron will join Joey Conway and Charlie Conway in the front row with Fineen Wycherley and Oisin Dowling are named in the second row while Marcus Rea, Paul Boyle and Gavin Coombes who are named in the back row, complete the pack.

Speaking ahead of the opening game, Malone said “This Junior World Championship is always an exciting competition and the we are looking forward to the challenge ahead of us.

We are looking forward to the game against Italy and starting the tournament. Having played them a few months ago in the 6 Nations, we know they are not a team to be underestimated, but the team are excited, focused and determined to make a good start.”

Ireland’s Pool B fixtures will be shown live on Eir Sport. The tournament will also be shown on ITV and streamed via the World Rugby website.

Ireland U20 team to play Italy U20 (Kutaisi Stadium, Kutaisi, Wednesday, May 31, 3.30pm local time/12.30pm Irish time)

15. Jack Kelly (Dublin University/ Leinster)
14. Colm Hogan (Dublin University/ Munster)
13. Gavin Mullin (UCD/ Leinster)
12. Ciaran Frawley (UCD/ Leinster)
11. Calvin Nash (Young Munster / Munster)
10. Conor Dean (St. Mary’s/ Leinster) *
9. Jonny Stewart (Queen’s University/ Ulster)

1. Joey Conway (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
2. Diarmuid Barron (Garryowen/ Munster) *
3. Charlie Connolly (Dublin University/ Leinster)
4. Fineen Wycherley (Young Munster/ Munster)
5. Oisin Dowling (Lansdowne/ Leinster)
6. Marcus Rea (Queen’s University/ Ulster)
7. Paul Boyle (Lansdowne/ Leinster) Captain
8. Gavin Coombes (Young Munster/ Munster)

Replacements:

  1. Ronan Kelleher (UCD/ Leinster)
  2. Greg McGrath (Lansdowne/ Leinster)
  3. Peter Cooper (Belfast Harlequins/ Ulster)
  4. Jack Regan (UCD/ Leinster)
  5. Sean Masterson (Corinthians/ Connacht)
  6. Jack Stafford (Shannon/ Munster)
  7. Angus Curtis (Queen’s University/ Ulster) *
  8. Alan Tynan (Young Munster/ Munster) *

*Denotes uncapped at this level.

IRELAND U-20s’ World Rugby Championship Fixtures:

Pool B:

Ireland v Italy
Kutaisi Stadium, Kutaisi, Wednesday, May 31, 3.30pm local time/12.30pm Irish time

Ireland v Scotland
Kutaisi Stadium, Kutaisi, Sunday, June 4, 1pm local time/10am Irish time

Ireland v New Zealand
Kutaisi Stadium, Kutaisi, Thursday, June 8, 3.30pm local time/12.30pm Irish time

Semi-Finals
Avchala Stadium or Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, Tbilisi, Tuesday, June 13

Play-Offs
Avchala Stadium or Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, Tbilisi, Sunday, June 18

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