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Ireland U20s Ready To Kick Off JWC Campaign

2nd June 2015 By Munster Rugby

The Ireland U20s open their Junior World Cup campaign against Argentina this afternoon with the Greencore Munster Academy’s Stephen Fitzgerald and Tomas Quinlan (sub-academy) named in the matchday squad for the Pool C opener in Parma.

The Ireland U20s open their Junior World Cup campaign against Argentina this afternoon with the Greencore Munster Academy’s Stephen Fitzgerald and Tomas Quinlan (sub-academy) named in the matchday squad for the Pool C opener in Parma.

Ireland U20s v Argentina U20s, Parma, Tuesday June 2nd, kick-off 4.30pm local time/3.30pm Irish time. This game will be televised live on TG4.

While Fitzgerald featured in all but one of Ireland U20s’ 6 Nations matches earlier this year, scoring three tries, should Quinlan appear from the bench today, he will make his debut for the U20s. Named as the AIL's Rising Star of the Month in December, the Cork Constitution playmaker was a late call up to the squad following the withdrawal of Ross Byrne due to a back injury.

Ireland U20s will line out as follows this afternoon.

15. Billy Dardis (UCD/Leinster)
14. Jacob Stockdale (Queen's University Belfast/Ulster)
13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster)
12. Sam Arnold (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
11. Stephen Fitzgerald (Shannon/Munster)
10. Joey Carbery (UCD/Leinster)
9. Nick McCarthy (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
1. Jeremy Loughman (UCD/Leinster)
2. Zack McCall (Queen's University Belfast/Ulster)
3. Oisin Heffernan (Terenure College/Leinster)
4. David O'Connor (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
5. Alex Thompson (Queen's University Belfast/Ulster)
6. Josh Murphy (UCD/Leinster)
7. Rory Moloney (Buccaneers/Connacht)
8. Lorcan Dow (Queen's University Belfast/Ulster)

Replacements
16. Sean McNulty (UCD/Leinster)
17. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster)
18. Conan O'Donnell (Sligo/NUIG/Connacht)
19. Jack Dwan (UCD/Leinster)
20. Nick Timoney (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
21. Charlie Rock (Old Belvedere/Leinster) *
22. Tomás Quinlan (Cork Constitution/Munster) *
23. Fergal Cleary (Lansdowne/Leinster)

* Denotes uncapped player at international Under-20 level

Looking ahead to this year’s Championship, Ireland U20s Head Coach Nigel Carolan commented, "The World Championship is essentially five games in three weeks whereas during the Six Nations we had five games over two months. It's very condensed, very intense.

"There's very little training time on the pitch between games, so it's important that we're very specific in what we do and what we need to achieve. We're going to rely on those players that have that experience (from last year) to be able to carry out the game-plan that we put in place.”

Seven of the extended squad have previous U20 Championship experience having played in the 2014 competition where Ireland finished fourth overall – Billy Dardis, Ciaran Gaffney, Oisin Heffernan, skipper Nick McCarthy, Rory Moloney, Josh Murphy and Garry Ringrose.

Meanwhile, Argentina boss Nicolás Fernández Lobbe has nine players back from last year's tournament – captain Bautista Ezcurra, Ignacio Calles, Vittorio Rosti, Ignacio Larrague, José Deheza, Lautaro Bazán Vélez, Domingo Miotti, Tomás Granella and Emiliano Boffelli.

Los Pumitas, who are ranked ninth overall, had two recent warm-up games against South Africa, losing 39-28 in Rosario and 25-22 in Santa Fe, and their head coach feels they are 'well prepared' for what he feels will be a 'tough' opening clash with Ireland.

Inside centre and skipper Ezcurra has been marked out as a player to watch. He played for the Pampas XV against the touring USA Select side earlier this year. His older brother Felipe captained the Argentina U-20s two years ago and has already made the step up to Test rugby.

Recent Meetings:
2009: IRB Junior World Championship – Pool A: Argentina-20s 9 Ireland Under-20s 16, Mizuho Sports Park, Nagoya.
2010: IRB Junior World Championship – Pool B: Argentina U-20s 24 Ireland U-20s 21, Estadio El Coloso del Parque, Rosario.

World Rugby Under-20 Championship 2015
POOL A – England, France, Wales, Japan
POOL B – South Africa, Australia, Samoa, Italy
POOL C – New Zealand, Ireland, Argentina, Scotland

Ireland Fixtures –
Ireland Under-20s v Argentina Under-20s, Parma, Tuesday, June 2, kick-off 4.30pm local time/3.30pm Irish time
Ireland Under-20s v Scotland Under-20s, Calvisano, Saturday, June 6, kick-off 4.30pm local time/3.30pm Irish time
New Zealand Under-20s v Ireland Under-20s, Viadana, Wednesday, June 10, kick-off 8.30pm local time/7.30pm Irish time

Match Day 4: Play-offs and semi-finals, Monday, June 15
Match Day 5: Play-offs and final, Saturday, June 20

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