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U-20s desperately on the hunt for their first victory in game against England

By Michael Sadlier

Published 25/02/2016

Big test: Nigel Carolan has made a few changes
Big test: Nigel Carolan has made a few changes

Two games in and Ireland U-20s are now in the business of salvaging their championship by trying to hunt down a first win when they take on England tomorrow at Kingston Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (kick-off 6.05pm).

Mind you, their chances are not exactly promising looking as even though last season's champions England have lost one game - in Scotland for the opening round - they have not lost a home match since 2010 when, as it happened, the Irish were the victors.

That rather worrying statistic has to sit alongside the fact that Ireland do not tend to win many away games - since 2012 they have managed to win one Six Nations game outside Ireland which was last season in Italy - and that they come into this clash off the back of a rather disappointing 34-13 result in France.

Ulster-based players Jonny McPhillips and Adam McBurney are retained, at out-half and hooker respectively, from the trip to Narbonne though fellow Ulster players, Jacob Stockdale and Robert Lyttle are again not involved as they are required to stay with their provincial squad ahead of their PRO12 clash at Cardiff Blues.

Irish coach Nigel Carolan, who has made a number of changes for the game, commented: "We were disappointed with the result in France. England made up for their opening loss to Scotland with a convincing win over Italy so we are prepared for them to be coming into this game full of confidence."

Ireland U20s: J Power, H Keenan, S Daly, J O'Brien, C O'Brien, J McPhillips, S Kerins; A Porter, A McBurney, C O'Donnell, P Claffey, J Ryan (capt), C Gallagher, W Connors, G Jones

Replacements: S Fenton, J Bollard, B Betts, S O'Connor, K Brown, J Poland, B Connon, M Byrne.

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