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Ulster Rugby's four looking to shine for Ireland

By Niall Crozier

Published 13/12/2013

Methody's Alex Thompson is in the second row
Methody's Alex Thompson is in the second row

Ulster will provide four of the Ireland Under 19s' starting line-up against Australia Schools tomorrow afternoon at Ravenhill (2.30pm).

They are forwards Alex Thompson (lock) and No 8 Lorcan Dow, plus backs Conor McKee (centre) and Jack Owens (wing). Thompson and McKee are Methodist College boys, with Queen's University and Campbell College providing Dow and Owens respectively.

Five of the eight replacements – Stephen Weir, Michael Lagan, James Gallagher, Conor Young and Josh Bingham – are from Ulster, too, underlining the current depth of talent at this level.

Weir, Lagan and Bingham are Methody students, while Gallagher and Young play for Ballymena and Instonians respectively.

Leinster, however, boast the biggest representation with seven players in the starting XV, four of them from UCD, namely flanker Josh Murphy, out-half Ross Byrne, outside centre Gary Ringrose and full-back Billy Dardis all coming from the Belfield campus.

And a fifth UCD student is hooker, Sean McNulty, one of two Munster players in the starting team. Connacht also will have two players on the pitch at kick-off.

Tickets – which are available from the Ulster Rugby website – range from £9-£20, with those for children starting at £5. Family tickets (two adults, two children) are available with a 15% saving, while season-tickets holders qualify for a 10% discount.

IRELAND U19: Billy Dardis (UCD, Leinster); Ciaran Gaffney (Galwegians, Connacht), Gary Ringrose (UCD, Leinster), Conor McKee (Methodist College, Ulster), Jack Owens (Campbell College, Ulster); Ross Byrne (UCD, Leinster), Jack Cullen (Bruff, Munster); Jeremy Loughman (Blackrock College, Leinster), Sean McNulty (UCD, Munster), Oisin Heffernan (Lansdowne, Leinster); David O'Connor (Blackrock College, Leinster), Alex Thompson (Methodist College, Ulster); Josh Murphy (UCD, Leinster), Rory Moloney captain (Buccaneers, Connacht), Lorcan Dow (Queen's University, Ulster). Replacements: Stephen Weir (Methodist College, Ulster), Michael Lagan (Methodist College, Ulster), Mike O'Donnell (Crescent College, Munster), Frank Bradshaw Ryan (Shannon, Munster), James Gallagher (Ballymena, Ulster), Conor Young (Instonians, Ulster), Josh Bingham (Methodist College, Ulster), Piers O'Conor (Eastbourne College, Exile)

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