TWO Limerick-based players have been included in Ireland U-20 squad which will compete in the IRB Junior World Cup in France in June.
Shannon second-row, Sean McCarthy, a nephew of former Munster and Ireland legend Mick Galwey, and UL-Bohs back-row forward Jack O’Donoghue were named in Mike Ruddock’s exciting young squad.
The Stade de la Rabine in Vannes, on the North West coast of France, will host all of the pool B games with Ireland set to face Australia on Wednesday, June 5, Fiji on Sunday, June 9 and New Zealand on June 13. Ireland’s pool games will be broadcast live on TG4 along with the semi-finals and final games of the tournament.
Both Sean McCarthy and Jack O’Donoghue are members of the Munster Academy. While McCarthy was involved in this year’s Ireland U20s RBS 6 Nations squad, O’Donoghue will be getting his first taste of action at this level.
Kerry native McCarthy featured in three of the Ireland U20s 6 Nations games, starting against Italy and coming on against England and France.
He captained his school side Rockwell to a Munster Schools Senior Cup title in 2012 and a few weeks later went on to play for Ireland U19s with fellow Munsterman Ryan Murphy against France and England.
McCarthy featured for Munster in the U20s Interprovincial series last September and makes the move from sub academy to academy for season 2013/14.
Other representations for McCarthy include playing basketball for Ireland U16s and minor football with Kerry in 2011.
Nineteen year-old Waterford man Jack O’Donoghue is a product of the Munster Youth’s system having previously captained his club side Waterpark to an U17 Munster title in 2011 and the year previous was part of the All-Ireland winning Waterpark U17 side that defeated Enniscorthy in the decider.
The back row forward was the youngest member of the Munster Rugby academy for season 2012/13 and he made his British and Irish Cup debut at 18 years of age against Rotherham Titans in December after featuring in the Munster U20s interprovincial series. In April 2012, he captained the Ireland U18 Club side against France and England and featured for the Ireland U19s this year.
O’Donoghue moves into year two of the academy next season.
Three more Munster players, Ryan Murphy, Rory Scannell, and Darren Sweetnam are also included in the Irish U-20s squad for the Junior World Championships. Luke McGrath, of UCD and Leinster, will captain the Irish side and in the absence of Robbie Henshaw and Stuart Olding, both on duty with the Ireland senior team, he will bring experience to the role.