Monday 11 December 2017

Carolan's cubs have to win it to stay in it

Nigel Carolan
Nigel Carolan

This would rate as the best result of Nigel Carolan's reign, writes Des Berry.

The Connacht man is into his second season in charge and it won't get any easier in Narbonne late his evening.

Second row James Ryan leads the largest pack of forwards Ireland have ever had at this level.

However, Wales showed them this merely makes them as big as, but not bigger than the other nations.

There were problems in the scrum at Donnybrook and Conor Kenny has been brought in for stability there.

Clontarf's Conor O'Brien and Cork Constitution's Dan Walsh are the other changes as Jack Power and Will Connors drop out of the squad due to injury.

The French have been talked up by their coach Thmoas Lievremont and they were impressive in demolishing Italy 40-3 last week.

The Irish need a win they are not likely to get to stay in the hunt.

France: R Buros; G N'Gandebe, D Penaud, A Arrate, E Roudil; A Belleau, C Kaiser; C Castets (capt), P Mauvaka, M Simutoga, F Verahegue, M Tanguy, M Voisin, J Concoriet, A Jelonch.

Ireland: H Keenan; M Byrne, S Daly, J O'Brien, C O'Brien; J McPhillips, J Poland; A Porter, A McBurney, C Kenny, P Claffey, J Ryan (capt), C Gallagher, D Walsh, M Deegan.

Verdict: France.

France U20s v Ireland U20s, Narbonne, Tonight (KO8.05, RTE2)

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