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Johnston has quality to help Irish U20s keep Grand Slam quest alive

By Staff Reporter

If you thought the unpredictable nature of French rugby concerned just the senior team, then think again as their U20s' start to the Six Nations illustrates it is an epidemic throughout the age grades.

Ireland are still on course for a Grand Slam having beaten both Scotland and Italy by a single point, but there is a realisation within the squad that they haven't yet played to their full potential.

France, on the other hand, were atrocious in their thumping defeat (59-17) to England but after making several changes, bounced back at home to Scotland. Sound familiar?

Seventeen-year-old Romain Ntamack, son of France legend Émile, is one to watch at out-half and his battle with the fit-again Bill Johnston (left) will be fascinating.

Returning to Donnybrook's 4G surface (8pm) will suit Ireland and if the pack can provide the platform, Johnston has the ability the get things moving.

Without a few key players, this will be a big test for Ireland but if they can put France under pressure early on, they may keep their Grand Slam dream alive.

Belfast Telegraph

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