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Wooton and Goggin in Ireland 20 action

(Above, Tommy O’Donnell outstanding for Emerging Ireland)

By the Editor

ALEX Wooton will be the only Limerick club player in starting action as Ireland take on New Zealand for the 3rd/4th place of the World Junior Rugby Championship in famed Eden Park today. Young Munster’s Dan Goggin is on the bench.

The Garryowen player starts at out-half and his performance will be closely watched by both Anthony Foley and Joe Schmidt in view of an under-supply of quality emerging number tens throughout the provinces.

Ireland’s performance will also provide a ‘rain check’ on where the game is at present at world level. The ‘Blacks’ are hot favourites with the Irish settling for a decent performance and defeat by a respectable margin. There is always a chance of a shock,, of course, mostly at this level, and we can expect a gutsy show by the boys in green.

Ireland’s Emerging side chalked up a half century of points (51-3) when they easily disposed of Urauguay. The South Americans were not much better than a lower division AIL side and two tries by Shannon’s Paddy Butler and one each from Craig Gilroy, Michael Kearney, Billy Holland, Paul Marshall and a penalty try highlighted the difference between the sides. It was a good outing for Munster and UL Bohs’ star JJ Hanrahan (5 conversions and a penalty) while Ian Keatley also kicked a penalty when he came on late in the second half.

Sean Dougal retired with a hand injury after just 12 minutes but it is not serious while the other Munster players on duty, Robin Copeland (who joins in a few weeks), Billy Holland, Johne Murphy, Tommy O’Donnell, John Ryan, Andrew Conway, JJ Hanrahan, Ian Keatley and Paddy Butler all did well.

The Emergers beat Russia in their opening game 66-0 with the game called off because of a storm. Had it continued the prospect of hitting the 100 point mark was not out of the question.

NEW ZEALAND UNDER-20s v IRELAND UNDER-20s, Eden Park, Auckland, 5.05pm local time/6.05am Irish time (live TG4/Sky Sports 1 HD/highlights TG4, 8.30pm)

Team captain Jack O’Donoghue has been ruled out of the play-off game as he continues to observe to the ‘return to play’ concussion protocols. His back row colleague Peadar Timmins will skipper Ireland in his absence.

NEW ZEALAND U-20: Damian McKenzie; Vincent Tavae-Aso, Anton Lienert-Brown (capt), TJ Faiane, Tevita Li; Richard Mo’unga, Mitchell Drummond; Atunaisa Moli, Hame Faiva, Tau Koloamatangi, James Tucker, Geoffrey Cridge, Tom Sanders, Lachlan Boshier, Matt Peni.

Replacements: James O’Reilly, Scott Mellow, Tim Cadwallader, Troy Callander, Kyle Harris, Josh Renton, Kaveinga Finau, David Kaetau Havili.

IRELAND U-20: Cian Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster); Ciaran Gaffney (Galwegians/Connacht), Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster), Harrison Brewer (Terenure College/Leinster), Alex Wootton (Garryowen/Munster); Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster), Nick McCarthy (UCD/Leinster); Peter Dooley (Lansdowne/Leinster), Dylan Donnellan (UCD/Leinster), Oisin Heffernan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Darragh Moloney (Cork Constitution/Munster), Ross Molony (UCD/Leinster), Peadar Timmins (UCD/Leinster) (capt), Rory Moloney (Buccaneers/Connacht), Frankie Taggart (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster).

Replacements: Max Abbott (Cork Constitution/Munster), Denis Coulson (Lansdowne/Leinster), Rory Burke (Cork Constitution/Munster), Stephen Gardiner (Lansdowne/Leinster), Josh Murphy (UCD/Leinster), Ryan Foley (Lansdowne/Leinster), Conor McKeon (Lansdowne/Leinster), Dan Goggin (Young Munster/Munster).

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Assistant Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Vlad Iordachescu (Romania)
Television Match Official: Chris Wratt (New Zealand)


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