The Ireland U-18 Schools team to play France on Saturday in the U-18 Six Nations Festival has been named, with six Ulster players in the starting XV.
Peter Smyth’s Ireland U-18 Schools squad will face France in Hartpury this Saturday, tournament hosts England at Sixways Stadium on Wednesday week (April 17), and will finish the festival at Kingsholm Stadium on Easter Sunday against Wales.
Smyth, who is in his second season as head coach, will be assisted by Mossy Lawler and Colm McMahon.
Pres. Cork’s Alexander Kendellen, one of six players who lined out at the festival last year, will captain the side from Number 8.
Jack Boyle, Tom Stewart and Oscar Egan will start in the front row with Darragh Murray, who captained Connacht to victory at the IRFU U-18 Interpros, paired alongside Alex Soroka in the second row.
Kendellen is joined in the back row by Will Hickey and Reuben Crothers.
Conor McKee and Nathan Doak form an all Ulster partnership in the half backs. Ben Carson and Karl Martin are named in the centre with the back three comprising wingers Aaron Leahy, Jamie Osbourne and fullback Chris Cosgrave.
The Under-18 Six Nations Festival matches will be broadcast live on Free Sports, which is available in Ireland on the Sky platform – channel 429.
IRELAND UNDER-18 SCHOOLS TEAM & REPLACEMENTS (v France U-18, Six Nations U-18 Festival, Hartpury College, Saturday, April 13, kick-off 2.30pm, live on Free Sport TV):
15. Chris Cosgrave (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
14. Jamie Osbourne (Naas CBS/Baas RFC/Leinster)
13. Karl Martin (St. Mary’s School Drogheda/Boyne RFC/Leinster)
12. Ben Carson (Wallace High School/Ulster)
11. Aaron Leahy (CBC Cork/Munster)
10. Nathan Doak (Wallace High School/Ulster)
9. Conor McKee (Sullivan Upper/Ulster)
1. Jack Boyle (St. Michael’s/Leinster)
2. Tom Stewart (Belfast Royal Academy/Ulster)
3. Oscar Egan (Coleraine Grammar/Ulster)
4. Alex Soroka (Belvedere College/Leinster)
5. Darragh Murray (Colaiste Chiarán/Buccaneers/Connacht)
6. Will Hickey (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
7. Reuben Crothers (Wallace High School/Ulster)
8. Alexander Kendellen (PBC Cork/Munster) Captain
16. Lee Barron (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
17. George Saunderson (Sullivan Upper School/Ulster)
18. Mark Donnelly (CBC Cork/Munster)
19. Donnacha Byrne (Summerhill College/Sligo RFC/Connacht)
20. Oisin McCormack (Garbally College/Connacht)
21. Ben Murphy (Presentation College Bray/Leinster)
22. Cian Whooley (CBC Cork/Munster)
23. Harry O’Riordan (CBC Cork/Munster)
24. Diarmuid McCormack (Clongowes Wood College/Connacht)
25. Shane Jennings (Garbally College/Connacht)
26. Diarmuid Killcommins (Coláiste Bhaile Chláir/Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
IRELAND UNDER-18 SCHOOLS – U-18 SIX NATIONS FIXTURES:
Ireland Under-18 Schools v France Under-18s, Hartpury College, Gloucester, Saturday, April 13, 2.40pm
England Under-18s v Ireland Under-18 Schools, Sixways Stadium, Worcester, Wednesday, April 17, 1.40pm
Ireland Under-18 Schools v Wales Under-18s, Kingsholm, Gloucester, Sunday, April 21, 11.10am