Offaly star to play for Ireland U20s in Six Nations

Offaly star to play for Ireland U20s in Six Nations

Ronan Loughnane, left, and Ben Murphy of Ireland U20 during the match between Ireland U20 and Leinster A at Energia Park in Dublin in May. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Offaly's own Ronan Loughnane has been named in Ireland's U20 Six Nations squad.

Head Coach Richie Murphy today named a 34-man Ireland squad, sponsored by PwC, to travel to the upcoming 2021 U20 Six Nations Championship in Cardiff, including six players who were involved in last year's campaign.

Birr club man Loughnane has been named among the forwards and joins an illustrious line of talented rugby stars from the Offaly club, including Peter Dooley, Shane Delahunt, Michael Milne and Jack Regan. 

Munster back row Alex Kendellen has been appointed captain ahead of Ireland's opening fixture against Scotland at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday, 19 June (Kick-off 2pm).

Offaly pair help Ireland to impressive friendly win

Alex Soroka and Tim Corkery, who both recently made their senior Leinster debuts, are two of six players involved at this age-grade for a second season, alongside Ulster duo Conor McKee and Ben Moxham, Connacht's Cathal Forde and Ben Murphy of Leinster.

Head Coach Murphy, and his Assistant Coaches Denis Leamy and Colm Tucker, are excited about the strength in depth and overall dynamic of this year's group having had to make a number of difficult selection decisions following a series of squad camps at the IRFU High Performance Centre in recent weeks.

Ireland kick off the Six Nations against Scotland on Saturday week, before facing hosts Wales in Round 2 on Friday, 25 June (Kick-off 8pm). Murphy's side will then go head-to-head with England on Thursday, 1 July (Kick-off 8pm) and their Championship will conclude with ties against Italy on Wednesday, 7th July (Kick-off 2pm) and France on Thursday, 13th July (Kick-off 4.45pm).

Commenting on his squad selection, Murphy said: "We have been working hard for a number of weeks and it's an exciting time for these young players, who have the honour of representing the wider group in Cardiff.

"It has been a challenging year but the players have come in, worked hard and bonded well, and I have been impressed by their work-rate, commitment and application. Now our focus turns to performance and Saturday's opening game against Scotland, which we know will be a big challenge first up.

"We are looking forward to the opportunities over the coming weeks and are excited by the prospect of an Ireland U20s team returning to Six Nations action."

Feargal O’Rourke, PwC Ireland Managing Partner, commented: "It's heartening to finally see the U20s back in action after a very challenging year. The dedication and team-work that the U20s show is always exceptional and mirrors our own values at PwC. I wish all the teams every success in Cardiff for this unique summer Six Nations tournament, especially Ireland as they look to retain the Grand Slam title they claimed in 2019."

Ireland Squad for 2021 U20 Six Nations:

Forwards:

George Saunderson (Sullivan Upper School/Queen's University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
Jack Boyle (St Michael's College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
Temi Asewunmi Lasisi (CBS Enniscorthy/Lansdowne FC/Leinster)
Mark Donnelly (CBC Cork/Garryowen RFC/Munster)
Eoin de Buitléar (Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiáran/An Ghaeltacht/Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
Lee Barron (St Michael's College/Dublin University FC/Leinster)
Ronan Loughnane (Cistercian College Roscrea/UCD RFC/Leinster)
Sam Illo (Wesley College/Old Wesley RFC/Leinster)
Darragh Murray (Colaiste Chiaran/Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
Harry Sheridan (Sullivan Upper School/Dublin University FC/Ulster)
Mark Morrisey (Blackrock College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
Alex Soroka (Belvedere College/Clontarf RFC/Leinster)
Oisin McCormack (Garbally College/Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
Alex Kendellen (PBC Cork/UCC RFC/Munster)(Captain)
Reuben Crothers (Wallace High School/Ballynahinch RFC/Ulster)
Donnacha Byrne (Summerhill College/Sligo RFC/Connacht)
Jack Kelleher (PBC Cork/UCC RFC/Munster)
Daniel Okeke (Ard Scoil Ris/Shannon RFC/Munster)
Liam Bishop (Trent College/Nottingham University/IQ Rugby)

Backs:

Conor McKee (Sullivan Upper School/Queen's University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
Nathan Doak (Wallace High School/Banbridge RFC/Ulster)
Ben Murphy (Presentation College Bray/Old Wesley RFC/Leinster)
Tim Corkery (Kilkenny College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
James Humphreys (Dean Close School/Queen's University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
Cathal Forde (Colaiste Iognaid/Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
Ben Carson (Wallace High School/Banbridge RFC/Ulster)
Shane Jennings (Garbally College/Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
Ben Moxham (Larne High School/Ballymena RFC/Ulster)
Conor Rankin (Campbell College Belfast/Ballynahinch RFC/Ulster)
Chay Mullins (SGC Filton/Bristol Bears/IQ Rugby)
Josh O'Connor (St Peter's College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
Jamie Osborne (Naas CBS/Naas RFC/Leinster)
Chris Cosgrave (St Michael's College/UCD RFC/Leinster)
Jude Postlethwaite (RBAI/Banbridge RFC/Ulster).

Ireland U20s Six Nations Fixtures 2021:

(All games at Cardiff Arms Park)

Scotland v Ireland, Saturday 19 June, 2pm
Wales v Ireland, Friday 25 June, 8pm
Ireland v England, Thursday 1 July, 8pm
Italy v Ireland, Wednesday 7 July, 2pm
Ireland v France, Tuesday 13 July, 4.45pm.

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.