Eoin O'Connor, of Young Munster, and Munster has been included in Ireland's U20s squad for the Six Nations
FIVE Munster players have been included in Noel McNamara's 37-man Ireland Under-20 squad for the upcoming Six Nations Championship.
The squad includes seven players from last year’s Grand Slam-winning panel.
The Munster players named in the squad include Academy second row Thomas Ahern, of Shannon RFC, Academy second row Eoin O’Connor, of Young Munster, Cian Hurley, of Garryowen, UCC centre Harry O’Riordan and Cork Constitution’s Jack Crowley has featured heavily for Munster ‘A’ this season.
Ulster Academy back row David McCann, who last season helped McNamara’s side to a memorable clean sweep of Six Nations victories, has been appointed captain ahead of the opening fixture against Scotland at Musgrave Park on Friday, January 31 (kick-off 7.15pm, live on RTÉ2).
McCann, who has previously captained Ireland Under-19s, is joined in the squad by Munster second row Ahern and the Leinster contingent of Thomas Clarkson, Brian Deeny, John McKee, Charlie Ward and Max O’Reilly, who are all involved at this age-grade for a second season.
McNamara and his assistant coaches, Kieran Campbell and Colm Tucker, are excited about the strength in depth and overall dynamic of this year’s group having had to make a number of difficult selection decisions.
"It’s always a very exciting time for these young players when the Six Nations comes around," McNamara said. "We have been working through the selection process since last year, which has culminated in today’s 37-man squad announcement.
"It was a tough selection and there are a number of players who are unlucky to miss out. It’s important to note at this stage that selection will be ongoing and players from outside this group will have further opportunities to impress throughout the season."
Having enjoyed huge success in front of sold-out crowds at Musgrave Park last year, the Cork venue will again play host to the Ireland Under-20 home games, and the visit of Scotland on the opening night is followed by a clash against Wales on Friday, February 7 (kick-off 7.15pm)
After a down week, McNamara’s side are on the road to face England at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday, February 21 (kick-off 7.45pm) and then it’s back to Irish Independent Park in round four for a meeting with Italy on Friday, March 6 (kick-off 7.15pm).
Ireland will conclude their campaign against France at the Stade Aime Giral in Perpignan on Friday, March 13 (kick-off 8pm).
Tickets for the Ireland Under-20 home fixtures in Musgrave Park are available from www.ticketmaster.ie
Ireland Under-20 2020 Six Nations Squad:
Charlie Ward (Tullow RFC / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
Marcus Hannan (Clane RFC / Old Belvedere RFC / Leinster)
Harry Noonan (Greystones RFC / Old Wesley RFC / Leinster)
Tom Stewart (Belfast Royal Academy / Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster)
John McKee (Campbell College / Old Belvedere / Leinster)
Bobby Sheehan (Clongowes Wood College / UCD RFC / Leinster)
Thomas Clarkson (Blackrock College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
Ryan McMahon (Clongowes Wood College / Old Belvedere RFC / Leinster)
Brian Deeny (Wexford Wanderers / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
Eoin O'Connor (Waterpark RFC / Young Munster RFC / Munster)
Thomas Ahern (Waterpark RFC / Shannon RFC / Munster)
Joe McCarthy (Blackrock College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
Alex Soroka (Blackrock College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
Cian Prendergast (Newbridge College / UCD RFC / Leinster)
Cian Hurley (CBC Cork / Garryowen FC / Munster)
Sean O'Brien (Blackrock College / UCD RFC / Leinster)
Mark Hernan (St Michael’s College / Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
Anthony Ryan (Clongowes Wood College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
David McCann (RBAI / Banbridge RFC / Ulster)
Joshua Dunne (Denstone College / Galwegians RFC / Connacht)
Lewis Finlay (Down High School / Malone RFC / Ulster)
Ben Murphy (Presentation College Bray / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
Conor McKee (Sullivan Upper School / Queens RFC / Ulster)
Jack Crowley (Bandon RFC / Cork Constitution FC / Munster)
Cathal Forde (Coláiste Iognáid / Corinthians RFC / Connacht)
Tim Corkery (Kilkenny RFC / Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
Andrew Smith (St Michael’s College / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
Niall Comerford (Blackrock College / UCD RFC / Leinster)
Ethan McIlroy (Methody College / Queens RFC / Ulster)
Diarmuid Kilgallen (Cistercian College Roscrea / Galwegians RFC / Connacht)
Hayden Hyde (Cranleigh School / Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster)
Ben Moxham (Ballymena RFC / Ballymena RFC / Ulster)
Harry O'Riordan (CBC Cork / UCC RFC / Munster)
Luis Faria (Newpark Comprehensive / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
Dan Kelly (Kirkham Grammar / Loughborogh University / IQ Rugby)
Oran McNulty (Millfield School / Corinthians RFC / Connacht)
Max O'Reilly (St Gerard’s / Dublin University FC / Leinster)