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Ulster rugby star Adam McBurney aims to kick on from Ireland Under-20 experience

By Andrew Lawton

After his try-scoring performance for Ireland in their Under-20s World Championship final, rugby player Adam McBurney insists the only way is up despite just missing out on the title. 

McBurney has been catching the headlines by helping his country surpass all expectations as they defeated reigning champions New Zealand and Under 20s Six Nation Grand Slam winners Wales en-route to the final.

Ireland came up against a superior England side in the final and fell to a 45-21 defeat at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday but the 19-year-old maintained he took a lot of positives from the tournament.   

McBurney, who is part of the SSE Next Generation programme, said: "There are loads of memories I've made and achievements there from playing all five games.  It was a really good tournament, we've tightened up as a squad and it is an experience which will stick with me forever." He says; "It was great to get to the final, I am massively proud of everyone and I am pleased personally with how I got on.  I want to develop as much as possible as a player now."

Although falling just short of lifting the trophy, there was still a memorable highlight for McBurney who powered over the whitewash from the back of a rolling maul.

The Ulsterman now believes the squad has the ability to defeat after a Six Nations campaign that saw them finish third with three wins from five.  The hooker will now try to force his way into the senior squad alongside Ireland captain Rory Best where he believes he can put into action the lessons learned he took from the tournament.

"The try was brilliant but I didn't have much to do," he added.  "We wanted to take each game as it came, we didn't go in as favourites but we went in confident and with belief.

"I learned a lot coming out of the tournament; what it takes to perform at that higher level and how important recovery is so I can go into next season with high hopes and aspirations to push on."

SSE’s Next Generation programme partners with SportsAid to provide financial support and training to the sports stars of the future. Keep up to date with the latest @SSENextGen

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