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Ireland Under-20s suffer ‘double injury blow’ ahead of opener

Richie Murphy

Injuries have forced Richie Murphy to make two changes to his Ireland squad ahead of their curtain-raiser against Scotland in the Six Nations Under-20s.

Murphy named his 34-player group for the 2021 Championship in Wales last week, but hooker Lee Barron and scrum-half Ben Murphy have since been ruled out through injury.

All you need to know about 2021 Six Nations Under-20s

Levi Vaughan and Will Reilly, who was involved in the Ireland U20s Talent Camp held at the IRFU High Performance Centre last month, have been called up as replacements.

The duo will travel with the squad when they depart Dublin on Thursday ahead of their opening clash against Scotland in Cardiff on Saturday, which kicks off at 2pm.

Will Reilly

Barron and Murphy join hooker Tom Stewart, out-half Cian Whooley and second row Joe McCarthy in being unavailable for the Championship through injury.

Murphy said: “It is always really unfortunate when a player misses out through injury, and it is a double blow to lose Lee and Ben so close to our first game.

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“But it’s a great opportunity for the two players coming in now. We have prepared really well over a number of five-day camps at the IRFU High Performance Centre.

Under-20 Six Nations Championship dates

“The group is just excited to get over to Cardiff and get stuck into the challenge ahead. We know it’ll be tough against Scotland but we’re looking forward to getting the Six Nations underway.”

After getting their campaign started against Scotland, Ireland go head-to-head with Wales on June 25 (Kick-off 8pm) and England on July 1 (Kick-off 8pm).

The 2019 champions will conclude the Six Nations Under-20s with ties against Italy on July 7 (Kick-off 2pm) and France on July 13 (Kick-off 4.45pm).

The Ireland U20s team to face Scotland will be named on Friday.