6N U20: Ireland meet France in Cork
Ireland have a Grand Slam in their sights as they go down to Cork to meet France, the reigning Six Nations Under-20 Champions and the winner of World Rugby’s Junior Championship.
France came a cropper against England in Round 2 while Ireland beat England in Round 1. France still have hopes of winning the championship but only Ireland of the six sides can still win the Grand Slam.
The weather at all three matches is miserable. One wonders why night matches are played at all in the mad March days.
Fixtures for Rounds 4
Ireland vs France
Scotland vs Wales
England vs Italy
Ireland vs England 35-27
Italy vs Scotland, 32-22
France vs Wales, 32-10
Ireland vs Scotland, 24-5
Wales vs Italy, 42-12
England vs France, 31-19
Wales vs England, 11-10
Ireland vs Italy, 34-14
France vs Scotland, 42-27
Ireland vs France
Ireland’s captain, David Hawkshaw, has an injured knee and will not be playing, his place taken by Sean French who has been playing well for Cork Constitution in the All Ireland League. That is the only change to the Starting XV.
Lock Charlie Ryan takes over the captaincy.
France, who are looking at this match as a final, have made 10 changes. One sees their captain, Arthur Vincent, back at outside centre to lead the team. Also back is flyhalf Louis Carbonel.
Ireland: 15 Jake Flannery, 14 Angus Kernohan, 13 Liam Turner, 12 Sean French, 11 Jonathan Wren, 10 Harry Byrne, 9 Craig Casey, 8 John Hodnett, 7 Scott Penny, 6 Martin Moloney, 5 Niall Murray, 4 Charlie Ryan (captain), 3 Thomas Clarkson, 2 Dylan Tierney-Martin, 1 Josh Wycherley
Replacements: 16 John McKee, 17 Callum Reid, 18 Ryan Lomas, 19 Ryan Baird, 20 David McCann, 21 Cormac Foley, 22 Ben Healy, 23 Rob Russell
France: 15 Alexandre De Nardi, 14 Vincent Pinto, 13 Arthur Vincent (captain), 12 Simon Desaubies, 11 Matthis Lebel, 10 Louis Carbonel, 9 Quintin Delord, 8 Jordan Joseph, 7 Sacha Zegueur, 6 Paul Boudehent, 5 Florent Vanverberghe, 4 Gauthier Maravat, 3 Alex Burin, 2 Rayne Barka, 1 Jean-Baptiste Gros
Replacements: 16 Loris Zarantonello, 17 Eli Eglaine, 18 Giorgi Beria, 19 Adrien Warion, 20 Maxence Lemardelet, 21 Kévin Viallard, 22 Mathieu Smaïli, 23 Ethan Dumortier
Date: Friday, 8 March 2019
Venue: Irish Independent Park, Cork
Expected weather conditions: Cold and wet – rain, a high of 12° and a low of 5°C
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)
Assistant referees: Adam Leal (England), George Selwood (England)
Television match official: Stuart Terheege (England)
Timekeeper: Harry Booker (Ireland)
Citing commissioner: John Byett (England)
Scotland vs Wales
After their thrilling win over England, a Triple Crown is possible for Wales with Scotland and Ireland to come. And at present they are third on the Under-20 log, a single point behind France. A decider against Ireland in the final week of the competition is not out of the question.
Wales have made four changes. Tomi Ellis is out injured, his place taken by Alex Morgan. In the pack Jac Price returns from suspension while prop Kemsley Mathias and flank Ellis Thomas get their first starts.
Scotland, bottom of the log, have three changes. Kwagga van Niekerk and Cameron Henderson are back from injury and Robbie McCallum is preferred at centre.
Scotland: 15 Matt Davidson, 14 Rory McMichael, 13 Cameron Anderson, 12 Robbie McCallum, 11 Jack Blain, 10 Ross Thompson, 9 Roan Frostwick, 8 Kwagga van Niekerk, 7 Connor Boyle (captain), 6 Charlie Jupp, 5 Cameron Henderson, 4 Ewan Johnson, 3 Euan McLaren, 2 Ewan Ashman, 1 Murphy Walker
Replacements: 16 Angus Fraser, 17 Andrew Nimmo, 18 Will Hurd, 19 Ross Bundy, 20 Jack Mann, 21 Murray Scott, 22 Nathan Chamberlain, 23 Ollie Smith
Wales: 15 Ioan Davies, 14 Alex Morgan, 13 Max Llewellyn, 12 Aneurin Owen, 11 Dewi Cross, 10 Cai Evans, 9 Dafydd Buckland, 8 Iestyn Rees, 7 Jac Morgan, 6 Ellis Thomas, 5 Jac Price, 4 Teddy Williams, 3 Ben Warren, 2 Dewi Lake (captain), 1 Kemsley Mathias
Replacements: 16 Will Griffiths, 17 Tom Devine, 18 Nick English, 19 Ed Scragg, 20 Ioan Rhys Davies, 21 Harri Morgan, 22 Sam Costelow, 23 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler
Date: Friday, 9 March 2019
Venue: Meggetland Stadium, Edinburgh
Expected weather conditions: Freezing cold and wet. Rain with a high of 8°C, dropping to 2°C
Referee: Joy Neville (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Stuart Gaffkin (Ireland), Robert O’Sullivan (Ireland)
Assessor: Gary Welsh (England)
England vs Italy
England will not take Italy lightly. They have made just three changes from the team narrowly defeated by Wales. James Scott and Rus Tuima come off the bench into the starting XV and Tom Seabrook comes into the centre
Italy have made five changes to the starting team and another five to the bench.
England: 15 Josh Hodge, 14 Ollie Sleightholme, 13 Tom Seabrook, 12 Tom de Glanville, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Kieran Wilkinson, 9 Ollie Fox, 8 Rusiate Tuima, 7 Aaron Hinkley, 6 Tom Willis, 5 James Scott, 4 Joel Kpoku, 3 Alfie Petch, 2 Nic Dolly, 1 Olly Adkins
Replacements: 16 Samson Ma’asi, 17 Kai Owen, 18 Jack Bartlett, 19 Alex Coles, 20 Richard Capstick, 21 Sam Maunder, 22 Manu Vunipola, 23 Jack Reeves
Italy: 15 Michele Peruzzo, 14 Cristian Lai, 13 Federico Mori, 12 Damiano Mazza, 11 Michael Mba, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Lorenzo Citton, 8 Mirco Finotto, 7 Davide Ruggeri, 6 Andrea Chianucci, 5 Thomas Parolo, 4 Cristian Stoian, 3 Matteo Nocera, 2 Andrej Marinello, 1 Matteo Drudi
Replacements: 16 Marco Bonanni, 17 Lorenzo Michelini, 18 Filippo Alongi, 19 Marco Butturini, 20 Davide Goldin, 21 Gianmarco Piva, 22 Giacomo Da Re, 23 Matteo Moscardi
Date: Friday, 9 March 2018
Venue: Godlington Road, Bedford
Expected weather conditions: Cold and wet. Rain with a high of 10°C, dropping to 6°C
Referee: Nika Amashukeli (Georgia)
Television match official: Leo Colgan (Ireland)