Three Ulster players start as Ireland name team for U20 World Championships opener
Three Ulster players have been named in Ireland's squad for their U20 World Championships opener against hosts France.
Matthew Dalton, Joe Dunleavy and Matthew Agnew will all start in the pack as Noel McNamara's side face the French at Stade Aime-Giral, Perpignan on Wednesday (kick-off 8pm BST).
Fellow Ulster players Aaron Hall and Jonny Stewart have been named on the bench.
In the front row, props James French and Jack Aungier pack down with hooker Diarmuid Barron. Barron is one of six players included who is appearing at the U20 World Championships for a second time.
Dalton starts alongside Jack Dunne in the second row, with the back row consisting of Dunleavy and Agnew alongside captain Caelan Doris.
There are three uncapped players in the backs, with wingers Dan Hurley and Tom Roche, along with centre Peter Sylvester set to win their first U20 caps.
Sylvester lines out in the centre alongside Tommy O’Brien, with Hugh O’Sullivan and Harry Byrne forming the half-back partnership.
Full-back Michael Silvester was also involved last summer in Georgia.
The bench contains two uncapped players in hooker Dan Sheehan and prop Joe Byrne, while Aaron Hall, Charlie Ryan and Sean O’Brien were all involved in this season’s U20 Six Nations campaign.
Jordan Duggan, Jonny Stewart and Conor Dean will all provide experience from the replacements, having all played at last year’s competition.
Speaking ahead of the game, Head Coach McNamara said: "There has been a great build up to this game, with positive work done both at home and since we arrived here in France and everyone is looking forward to getting the tournament underway.
"We know from the Six Nations how vocal and passionate the French fans are and there’s no doubt that there will be a fantastic atmosphere in Perpignan tomorrow night.
"The players have worked hard and they know the task ahead, so for them it’s about focusing on their roles and going out there and playing with conviction."
How can I watch the game?
The match will be broadcast live online in non-geoblocked locations via World Rugby’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/WordlRugby) and website (www.worldrugby.org).
The game will also be shown live on Eir Sport in the Republic of Ireland.
Ireland U20s team to face France U20s (Ulster players in bold)
15. Michael Silvester (Dublin University/Leinster)
14. Tom Roche (Lansdowne/Leinster) *
13. Tommy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
12. Peter Sylvester (UCC/Munster) *
11. Dan Hurley (Young Munster/Munster) *
10. Harry Byrne (UCD/Leinster)
9. Hugh O’Sullivan (Clontarf/Leinster)
1. James French (UCC/Munster)
2. Diarmuid Barron (Garryowen/Munster)
3. Jack Aungier (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
4. Matthew Dalton (Malone/Ulster)
5. Jack Dunne (Dublin University/Leinster)
6. Joe Dunleavy (Malone/Ulster)
7. Matthew Agnew (Ballymena/Ulster)
8. Caelan Doris (St. Mary's College/Leinster) Captain
16. Dan Sheehan (Dublin University/Leinster) *
17. Jordan Duggan (Naas/Leinster)
18. Joe Byrne (Dublin University/Leinster) *
19. Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster)
20. Aaron Hall (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
21. Jonny Stewart (Queen's University/ Ulster)
22. Conor Dean (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
23. Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
*Denotes uncapped at this level.
Ireland U20s World Championships Fixtures
France v Ireland: Stade Aime-Giral, Perpignan; Wednesday 30th May, 2018; KO: 21:00 (local) / 20:00 (Irish)
South Africa v Ireland: Stade d'Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l'Amitie, Narbonne; Sunday 3rd June, 2018; KO: 16:30 (local) / 15:30 (Irish)
Ireland v Georgia: Stade d'Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l'Amitie, Narbonne; Thursday 7th June, 2018; KO: 18:30 (local) / 17:30 (Irish)
Semi-Finals: Stade d'Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l'Amitie, Narbonne OR Stade Aime-Giral, Perpignan;Tuesday 12th June 2018
Finals Day: Stade De La Mediterranee in Béziers; Sunday 17th June 2018
Belfast Telegraph Digital