Ireland Rugby U-18 Schools Team for FIRA/AER U-18 European Championship Final: 5 Ulster Players Named

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The Ireland Under-18 Schools team, sponsored by PwC, to play England U-18’s in the final of the FIRA/AER U-18 European Championship in Tarbes this Saturday has been named.

Coach Terry McMaster has made five changes to the team from the side that won through 19-17 against tournament hosts France in the semi finals last weekend. Four of the changes are in personnel with one positional switch.

Donagh Lawler moves from the second row into the back row in place of Mark Best, with Gavin Thornbury taking up the vacancy left by Lawler in the second row.

Stuart Olding comes into the team at No.10 in place of Rory Scannell, who moves to the replacements. Mark Roche is promoted from the bench and is named on the left wing with Cian O’Halloran moving to the replacements. The final change to the team sees Rory Scholes named at full back in place of Jack Fitzpatrick.

Commenting on the game, Coach Terry McMaster said: “The result last weekend was really down to the level of effort that the boys put in and we were delighted to edge a tight game, but we also feel that there is still another level that we can move to and improve. It will take exactly that if we are to be successful over what is a good England side. They were strong in the contact area and in the set piece in their game against Wales and prepared to run as well, so it’s a challenge across the park.”

“We have made a few changes to the side and it is more a reflection of the strength of the panel and also freshening things up for the particular challenge that England will bring. The change in the second row is probably to give us a little bit more aerial capability as England were particularly strong there.”

“The boys coming into the backs have all been training well and contributing as part of the squad, so I thought it was a good opportunity to bring them in and it certainly won’t change the level of quality we need to bring against England. There has been great support from the locals and also the travelling parents, but it also great that people back home will be able to see the game as it is going to screened live.”

The FIRA/AER U-18 European Championship final will be televised live on Eurosport 2.

Ireland U-18 Schools team to play England Under-18s, FIRA-AER Championship Final, Stade Maurice Trelut, Tarbes, Saturday, April 23rd, kick-off 18.30hrs (17.30hrs Irish time):

15 – Rory Scholes (Campbell College)
14 – Conor McEllin (Blackrock College)
13 – Robert Henshaw (Marist Athlone)
12 – Chris Farrell (Campbell College)
11 – Mark Roche (Blackrock College)
10 – Stuart Olding (Belfast Royal Academy)
9 – Luke McGrath (St Michael’s College) Captain
1 – Gordon Frayne (Clongowes Wood College)
2 – Bryan Byrne (Clongowes Wood College)
3 – Edward Byrne (Clongowes Wood College)
4 – Jerry Sexton (St. Mary’s College)
5 – Gavin Thornbury (Blackrock College)
6 – Donogh Lawler (St. Michael’s College)
7 – Dan Leavy (St. Michael’s College)
8 – Ryan Murphy (PBC Cork)

16 – Andrew Murphy (St. Michael’s College)
17 – Thomas Ferrari (Sligo Grammar School)
18 – Chris Taylor (Wallace High School)
19 – Luke Satchwell (The King’s Hospital)
20 – Mark Best (Campbell College)
21 – Jack O’Neill (Castleknock College)
22 – David Shanahan (Belvedere College)
23 – Rory Scannell (PBC Cork)
24 – Jack Fitzpatrick (Gonzaga College)
25 – Cian O’Halloran (Christian Brothers Cork)
26 – Seamus Glynn (Presentation Brothers Cork)

Ireland U-18 Schools Management Team:
Terry McMaster – Coach
Kenny Hooks – Assistant Coach
Paul Barr – Assistant Coach
Lorcan Balfe – Team Manager
Chris Shields – Strength & Conditioning Coach
Ozzie Fogarty – Team Doctor
David Lyons – Team Physio
Vinnie Hammond – Team Analyst
Jessica O’Brien – Team Co-ordinator

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