Ireland head coach Richie Murphy has urged his players to make the most of their opportunity after naming a 34-man squad for the upcoming 2021 U20 Six Nations.
The squad, which includes six players who were involved in last year’s curtailed Championship, will be captained by Munster back row Alex Kendellen.
Recent Leinster debutants Alex Soroka and Tim Corkery will both represent the U20s for a second season, along with Conor McKee, Ben Moxham, Cathal Forde and Ben Murphy.
And Murphy is excited by the strength in depth in his squad, having made a number of difficult selection decisions following a series of squad camps at the IRFU High Performance Centre.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
2019 champions Ireland kick off the 2021 U20 Six Nations against Scotland on Saturday week, before facing hosts Wales in Round 2 on Friday, June 25 (kick-off 8pm).
Murphy’s side will then go head-to-head with England on July 1 (kick-off 8pm) before their Championship concludes with ties against Italy on July 7 and France on July 13.
Ireland Squad for 2021 U20 Six Nations
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)
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)