World U20s 2015: Ireland make four changes for Scotland
Head coach Nigel Carolan wary of threat posed by Scots ahead of second Pool C match in Calvisano this weekend
Nigel Carolan has made four changes to his Ireland U20 side to face Scotland in Calvisano on Saturday afternoon.
Having recovered from an ankle injury, Galwegians wing Ciaran Gaffney returns to the right wing in place of Jacob Stockdale, who drops to the bench, with Shannon’s Stephen Fitzgerald continuing on the left wing and UCD’s Billy Dardis keeping his place at full-back.
We narrowly lost to Scotland during the Six Nations this year so we are aware of the challenge ahead of us.
UCD centre Garry Ringrose and Ballynahinch’s Sam Arnold continue their midfield partnership with UCD duo Joey Carbery and captain Nick McCarthy again given the reins at outside-half and scrum-half, respectively.
The pack sees three changes with UCD loosehead prop Andrew Porter and hooker team-mate Sean McNulty promoted from the bench to join Terenure College’s Oisin Heffernan in the front row.
St Mary’s lock David O’Connor and Queen’s University Belfast’s Alex Thompson continue their partnership in the engine room, with the final change coming at openside flanker as St Mary’s back-row Conor Oliver replaces Darragh Moloney to partner UCD flanker Josh Murphy and QUB number eight Lorcan Dow.
Ireland needed a last-minute penalty from Cork Con outside-half Tomás Quinlan to secure an 18-16 win over Argentina in Parma on Tuesday.
It was far from the perfect start for last year’s semi-finalists, albeit better than Scotland’s first result as New Zealand ran in 65 unanswered points in a 68-10 schooling of the Dark Blues.
But expects Ireland will face another tough test against Scotland, who defeated them during this year’s RBS U20 6 Nations.
“We had a shaky start to the tournament, but it’s good to have the win under our belt,” Carolan said.
“We narrowly lost to Scotland during the Six Nations this year so we are aware of the challenge ahead of us.
“We know we have a tough battle on our hands, but that’s what we have prepared for.
“We are all looking forward to the game and hopefully we can perform to our potential.”
Ireland U20: Billy Dardis (UCD/Leinster); Ciaran Gaffney (Galwegians/Connacht), Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster), Sam Arnold (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Stephen Fitzgerald (Shannon/Munster); Joey Carbery (UCD/Leinster), Nick McCarthy (UCD/Leinster, captain); Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster), Sean McNulty (UCD/Leinster), Oisin Heffernan (Terenure College/Leinster), David O’Connor (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Alex Thompson (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster), Josh Murphy (UCD/Leinster), Conor Oliver (St Mary’s/Leinster), Lorcan Dow (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster).
Replacements: Zack McCall (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster), Liam O’Connor (Cork Constitution /Munster), Conan O’Donnell (Sligo/NUIG/Connacht), Jack Dwan (UCD/Leinster), Nick Timoney (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Charlie Rock (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Tomás Quinlan (Cork Constitution/Munster), Jacob Stockdale (Queen’s University Belfast/Ulster).
Scotland U20: Ruairi Howarth (Edinburgh Rugby/Gala); Robbie Nairn (Harlequins), Tom Galbraith (Melrose), Patrick Kelly (Le Parc), Alec Coombes (London Scottish); Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby), George Horne (Glasgow Hawks); Murray McCallum (Aberdeen Grammar Rugby), Sam James (Bedford Blues), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks), Lewis Carmichael (Melrose), Neil Irvine-Hess (Melrose), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby, captain), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby).
Replacements: Ross Graham (Hawick), Dan Elkington (Watsonians), Jack Owlett (Exeter University), Andrew Davidson (Glasgow Warriors/Glasgow Hawks), Ruaridh Knott (Melrose); Ben Vellacott (Gloucester/Hartpury College), Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints), Richard Galloway (University of Birmingham).