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Sam Arnold drafted in for Six Nations start

By Michael Sadlier

Ulster-based Sam Arnold will make his first Six Nations start for Ireland Under-20s when they take on France tomorrow in Athlone's Dubarry Park (kick-off 7pm and live on RTE 2).

Arnold, who hails from England but qualifies for Ireland through his grandparents, has been named in the centre after being named on the bench for the opening 47-15 thumping of Italy and is one of seven Ulster-based players in head coach Nigel Carolan's squad with five in the starting side.

Still in the team, along with Ballynahinch player Arnold, are the Queen's University's Jack Owens, who moves from left to right wing, Zac McCall, Alex Thompson and Lorcan Dow.

Ballymena's Adam McBurney and Michael Lagan are still benched for the clash with the French, who saw off Scotland 47-6 last week.

Coach Carolan has made two changes from last week and along with Arnold's promotion to partner Garry Ringrose in midfield, Steven Fitzgerald is named on the left wing to win his first cap.

Speaking ahead of the game, Carolan said: "It was great to get the tournament off to a winning start. We are looking forward to playing the French side at home."

Ireland U20s: B Dardis, J Owens, G Ringrose, S Arnold, S Fitzgerald, R Byrne, N McCarthy; J Loughman, Z McCall, O Heffernan, D O'Connor, A Thompson, J Murphy, R Moloney, L Dow. Replacements: A McBurney, M Lagan, C O'Donnell, C Romaine, N Timoney, J Cullen, J Carbery, F Cleary

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