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Title success would be a real bonus for U20s, says McNamara

By Cian Tracey

The Ireland U20s will have one eye on events in Wales this evening as they look for a favour in their quest to be crowned U20 Six Nations champions.

Ireland must beat England and deny them a bonus point, while at the same time hoping for a Welsh win over France.

It’s a tall order, particularly against a good England team in their own back yard, but stranger things have happened.

Head coach Noel McNamara said: “It’s always a challenge. There is still an opportunity for the boys, if results go their way, to win it. Our focus is on beating England and anything that happens after that, happens after that.

“There are inconsistencies within the game; on one hand we have lost a half in every game that we have played so that’s something for us to be better at.

“We feel there has been improvement through the Six Nations, but still inconsistencies.”

Ireland will have to save their best performance for last if they are to pull off what would be a remarkable achievement, especially already having lost two games earlier in the campaign.

They need a big performance from their pack, but in players like Jack Aungier and Jack O’Sullivan they have the quality.

Ireland can ill-afford any sloppy errors because England will not hesitate in punishing them.

They are capable of causing England plenty of problems in attack, but their major issue remains in defence. If Ireland can tighten that up, it will give them a fighting chance.

IRELAND U20s: M Silvester; J Hume, T O’Brien (capt), A Curtis, A Kernohan; H Byrne, H O’Sullivan; J Duggan, E Clarke, J Aungier; M Dalton, J Dunne; J Dunleavy, M Agnew, J O’Sullivan. Reps: D Barron, J French, T O’Toole, R Coffey, S Masterson, J Stewart, C Dean, S O’Brien.

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