The Ireland Under-20s produced a dramatic comeback to claim a crucial 26-25 win over Wales in their World Rugby U-20 Championship opener.

The U20 Six Nations Grand Slam winners got off to a flying start against Ireland in the Manchester City Academy Stadium, with tries from Shaun Evans, Keelan Giles and Reuben Morgan-WIlliams putting them 17-0 ahead.

Ireland fought back, however, through Jacob Stockdale and Adam McBurney to cut the deficit to just two points by the end of the first half.

Daniel Jones kicked a penalty to put Wales’ lead out to five points early in the second half, but two Bill Johnstone penalties put Ireland ahead for the first time in the match.

With 12 minutes to go Ireland struck a crucial blow, Jacob Stockdale going over in the left corner after some fantastic passing in the build-up to give the winger space out wide to put Ireland 26-20 ahead.

Wales weren’t out if yet, though, and with three minutes left Keelan Giles scored his second try of the game to give out-half Daniel Jones the chance to win it with the conversion, but his effort was wide to the right.

Speaking after the game, Ireland U20 captain James Ryan said: “The one thing about this group, when we’re down and its backs against the wall, we still believe we can make a comeback. We did it away in England [in the Six Nations] and today was pretty similar.”

Ireland U20 World Rugby U20 Championship Fixtures – Pool A

Wales 25 Ireland 26
Manchester City Academy Stadium
Tuesday 7th June, 2016
KO: 17:30

New Zealand v Ireland
Manchester City Academy Stadium
Saturday 11th June, 2016
KO: 13:30

Ireland v Georgia
Manchester City Academy Stadium
Wednesday 15th June, 2016
KO: 17:30

Manchester City Academy Stadium OR AJ Bell Stadium, Salford
Monday 20th June 2016

Manchester City Academy Stadium OR AJ Bell Stadium, Salford
Saturday 25th June 2016