Galway-based Connacht players set for U20 Six Nations clincher

Hugh Gavin of Ireland celebrates with teammates after scoring their side's third try during the U20 Six Nations Rugby Championship match between France and Ireland at Stade Maurice David in Aix-en-Provence, France. Photo by Johnny Fidelin/Sportsfile

Hugh Gavin of Ireland celebrates with teammates after scoring their side's third try during the U20 Six Nations Rugby Championship match between France and Ireland at Stade Maurice David in Aix-en-Provence, France. Photo by Johnny Fidelin/Sportsfile

Three Irish U20s plying their trade for Galway clubs are set for a pivotal Six Nations game against England this Friday.

Hugh Gavin, Finn Treacy and Sean Naughton - all members of the Connacht Academy - will take places in the matchday squad. Ireland travel to face their main rivals and current table-toppers in this year's competition, England.

Both Gavin and Treacy are affiliated with Galwegians RFC in Division 2C of the All Ireland League, while Naughton plays for Galway Corinthians of Division 2B.

This is Gavin's second year in the set-up; he is the only player of the three to progress through the age grades in Connacht. Treacy and Naughton come from the Leinster school's system, from Presentation College, Bray, and Kilkenny College respectively.

Richie Murphy's Irish side are thus far unbeaten throughout the campaign. They started the competition by defeating France in a scintillating affair. Subsequently they struggled to a narrow home win against Italy, before an inconsistent performance against Wales saw them brush aside their opposition in the second half.

Despite this inconsistency, all three players have been influential during the tournament. Hugh Gavin has been one of the Six Nations' standout performers. The centre uses his size and athleticism to gain Ireland front-foot ball, while his passing and offloading ability have been influential in putting others through gaps in the opposition defence.

Finn Treacy is another player who uses his fitness to good advantage. The winger has been industrious on the extremities for Ireland, and he is tied fourth overall in the competition for line-breaks, with a total of four.

Sean Naughton has had to suffice with a place on the bench for Ireland's three games. However he brought an assuredness to proceedings when he was introduced against Italy, and was a huge reason Ireland eked out the win.

Ireland's opposition this weekend are also unbeaten in the competition so far. They sit top of the table on 15 points, one point ahead of Ireland. They also have a superior points difference, so a win for Ireland is vital to keep hopes alive for a third successive Grand Slam.

Kick-off at the Recreation Ground, Bath, is at 7.15 pm. The game will be broadcast live on RTE.

 

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