Richie Murphy has named his matchday squad for the upcoming U20 Six Nations match against Scotland in Cardiff on Saturday afternoon.
The sole Munster representative in the starting is team captain, Alex Kendellen.
Kendellen (20), will feature in the back row in the first Ireland U20 game since just before the pandemic in March 2020.
The Cork native first captained a team when he wore the armband for Presentation Brothers College team in fifth year.
He has spoken of watching videos of New Zealand’s Kieran Read to use for his own game
Defence coach and former Munster and Ireland forward Denis Leamy has taken the U20 captain under his wing at camp.
Kendellen spoke of how much work Leamy puts into the coaching.
“Denis has been through it all, I suppose. Firstly, he’s been extremely good to me. Back-row aspects of the pitch – be it ruck, be it tackle, be it poach – he’s taken me under his wing and just showed me that aspect of the game. He kind of wants what he can offer me, I suppose, and what player he can mould me into.”
There’s also three from Munster who make the bench for the side.
Three extra players can be named on the bench due to the condensed nature of the tournament.
Speaking on his selection, Head Coach Murphy said:
“The squad and management have worked tirelessly over the last number of months in preparation for the Six Nations, and the 26 players selected for Saturday have the honour of representing the group against Scotland. We are excited about the challenge ahead and the prospect of the Ireland U20s back in action again.”
Kick-off is 14:00 on Saturday and the game is being shown on RTÉ 1.
Ireland U20s (v Scotland):
15. Jamie Osborne (Naas CBS/Naas RFC/Leinster)
14. Ben Moxham (Larne High School/Ballymena RFC/Ulster)
13. Shane Jennings (Garbally College/Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
12. Cathal Forde (Colaiste Iognaid/Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
11. Josh O’Connor (St Peter’s College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
10. James Humphreys (Dean Close School/Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
9. Conor McKee (Sullivan Upper School/Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
1. Temi Lasisi (CBS Enniscorthy/Lansdowne FC/Leinster)
2. Ronan Loughnane (Cistercian College Roscrea/UCD RFC/Leinster)
3. Sam Illo (Wesley College/Old Wesley RFC/Leinster)
4. Mark Morrissey (Blackrock College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
5. Harry Sheridan (Sullivan Upper School/Dublin University FC/Ulster)
6. Alex Soroka (Belvedere College/Clontarf RFC/Leinster)
7. Oisin McCormack (Garbally College/Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
8. Alex Kendellen (PBC Cork/UCC RFC/Munster)(Captain)
16. Eoin de Buitléar (Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiáran/An Ghaeltacht/Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
17. Jack Boyle (St Michael’s College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
18. Mark Donnelly (CBC Cork/Garryowen RFC/Munster)
19. Jack Kelleher (PBC Cork/UCC RFC/Munster)
20. Reuben Crothers (Wallace High School/Ballynahinch RFC/Ulster)
21. Will Reilly (CBS Portlaoise/MU Barnhall/Leinster)
22. Tim Corkery (St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny/UCD RFC/Leinster)
23. Chris Cosgrave (St Michael’s College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
24. Donnacha Byrne (Summerhill College/Sligo RFC/Connacht)
25. Ben Carson (Wallace High School/Banbridge RFC/Ulster)
26. Daniel Okeke (Ard Scoil Ris/Shannon RFC/Munster)