IRELAND U18 SCHOOLS coach Peter Smyth has included six returning players in his squad for the U18 Six Nations Festival, which takes place in England from next week.
Ben Murphy, the son of Ireland skills and kicking coach Richie, is one of those back from last year, as is Nathan Doak, the son of ex-Ulster and current Worcester attack coach Neil.
Pres College, Bray student Ben Murphy is back again this year. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
St Mary’s School, Drogheda student Karl Martin, Belfast Royal Academy’s Tom Stewart, PBC Cork forward Alex Kendellen and Chris Cosgrave – who recently helped St Michael’s to the Leinster Schools Senior Cup – are the other returning players in the 26-man squad.
St Michael’s players Lee Barron, Jack Boyle and Will Hickey join Cosgrave in the squad, while CBC Cork – who won the Munster Schools Senior Cup this year – are represented by Cian Whooley, Aaron Leahy, Harry O’Riordan and Mark Donnelly.
Among the six-strong Connacht contingent are Shane Jennings and Diarmuid Kilcommins, who won an All-Ireland minor hurling title with Galway last year.
Jennings was also part of Garbally College’s Connacht Schools Senior Cup title-winning squad this season, along with fellow Ireland Schools call-up Oisin McCormack.
Second row Darragh Murray, the younger brother of Ireland U20s lock Niall, captained the Connacht U18s to trophy success at the IRFU U18 Interprovincial Festival at the start of the season.
Connacht’s Darragh Murray is included. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO
Belvedere College’s Alex Soroka, the brother of former Ireland U20 international Ivan, is also included.
Smyth has included seven Ulstermen in his Ireland U18 Schools squad, with five Munster players and eight from Leinster.
Ireland get their U18 Six Nations Festival campaign underway with a meeting against France in Gloucester on Saturday 13 April, before facing England in Worcester four days later. Their run of fixtures concludes with a clash against France in Gloucester on Sunday 21 April.