Leinster’s O’Sullivan the latest debutant as Ireland U20 team named

NOEL MCNAMARA HAS made eight changes in personnel for Ireland’s fifth place playoff semi-final against England at the U20 World Championship in Argentina.

After narrowly missing out on a place in the tournament semi-finals, injury-ravaged Ireland face England for the third time this year in Rosario tomorrow evening [KO 7.30pm, eir Sport].

Leinster academy winger Aaron O’Sullivan is the latest debutant, while David Ryan, the younger brother of James, is handed his first start of the tournament after flying over as a replacement.  

O’Sullivan in AIL action for UCD. Source: Ben Whitley/INPHO

There is also a first start for Tullow native Charlie Ward, who gets his opportunity at tighthead prop, with Michael Milne switching to loosehead and Dylan Tierney-Martin resuming at hooker.

With Ciaran Booth [knee] and David McCann [head] both gone home after suffering tournament-ending injuries against Italy in the final pool outing, Ryan Baird moves to blindside flanker and Ronan Watters returns from injury to start at openside.

Captain Charlie Ryan starts in the second row alongside Thomas Ahern while Munster scrum-half Craig Casey is back in the XV to resume his half-back pairing with provincial team-mate Ben Healy. 

Ryan combines with Liam Turner in midfield, and there is a fresh look to the back three  with O’Sullivan linking up with Munster duo Jake Flannery and Jonathan Wren. 

“Since Wednesday’s win over Italy, we’ve decamped from our base for the pool stages in Santa Fe and made the move down to Rosario for the final two games of the competition,” McNamara said.

“The players have been really focused on their rest and recovery since Wednesday with a view to being in the best possible condition ahead of tomorrow’s play-off clash.”

The winner of Monday’s game will face either New Zealand or Wales for a shot at fifth place. 

Ireland U20s:

15. Jake Flannery (Shannon/Munster)
14. Aaron O’Sullivan (UCD/Leinster)
13. Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster) (captain)
12. David Ryan (UCD/Leinster)
11. Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution/Munster)
10. Ben Healy (Garryowen/Munster)
9. Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster)

1. Michael Milne (UCD/Leinster)
2. Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians/Connacht)
3. Charlie Ward (Clontarf/Leinster)
4. Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
5. Thomas Ahern (Shannon/Munster)
6. Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)
7. Ronan Watters (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
8. Azur Allison (Ballymena/Ulster)


16. Declan Adamson (Clontarf/Leinster)
17. Thomas Clarkson (Dublin University/Leinster)
18. Josh Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster)
19. John McKee (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
20. Brian Deeny (Clontarf/Leinster)
21. Niall Murray (Buccaneers/Connacht)
22. Luke Clohessy (Shannon/Munster)
24. Colm Reilly (Buccaneers/Connacht)
25. Rob Russell (Dublin University/Leinster)
26. Cormac Foley (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
27. Angus Kernohan (Queen’s University/Ulster)
28. Max O’Reilly (Dublin University/Leinster).

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