Noel McNamara has named the Ireland U20 side to play Italy in their first home fixture of this year’s U20 6 Nations at Donnybrook this Friday at 7.15pm (live RTÉ 2).

There are four changes to the starting side that lined out against France last Friday.

There are two changes to the back-row, with flankers Sean Masterson and Matthew Agnew joining number 8 Jack O’Sullivan.

The tight five remains unchanged, with props Jordan Duggan and Jack Aungier starting alongside hooker Ronan Kelleher, with Cormac Daly and Jack Dunne named in the second row.

In the backs, scrum-half, Hugh O’Sullivan comes into start, having won his first cap from the bench last week. He will partner out-half Harry Byrne, and in the midfield, Angus Curtis moves from the replacements and will line out alongside captain Tommy O’Brien.

The back three remains unchanged, with Michael Silvester at full-back, and James McCarthy and Peter Sullivan on the wings.

Ahead of Friday’s fixture, McNamara said:

“France was a learning experience for all involved, and the challenge now is to build on what went right for us in Bordeaux while also looking to address the areas that could have been better.

“We had a long trip home from France, but the players have looked after themselves and recovered well and they are eager to run out in front of a home crowd this Friday night.

“Italy pushed England all the way and really made them work hard for their win last weekend, and their underage sides are getting stronger and stronger each season, so it will be a challenge, but our players showed a lot of character in the second half against France, and we’ll be looking for them to build on that coming into this game.”

Ireland U20

15. Michael Silvester (Dublin University/Leinster) (5)
14. Peter Sullivan (Lansdowne FC/Leinster) (1)
13. Tommy O’Brien (UCD RFC/Leinster) (6) CAPTAIN
12. Angus Curtis (Queen’s University RFC/Ulster) (1)
11. James McCarthy (UL Bohemian/Munster) (1)
10. Harry Byrne (UCD RFC/Leinster) (1)
9. Hugh O’Sullivan (Clontarf FC/Leinster) (1)
1. Jordan Duggan (Naas/Leinster) (5)
2. Ronan Kelleher (UCD/ Leinster) (9)
3. Jack Aungier (St. Mary’s College RFC/Leinster) (1)
4. Cormac Daly (Clontarf FC/Leinster) (1)
5. Jack Dunne (Dublin University FC/Leinster) (1)
6. Sean Masterson (Corinthians RFC/Connacht) (5)
7. Matthew Agnew (Ballymena RFC/Ulster) (0)
8. Jack O’Sullivan (UCC RFC/Munster) (1)

Replacements

16. Eoghan Clarke (Wanderers FC/Leinster) (0)
17. James French (UCC RFC/Munster) (1)
18.Tom O’Toole (Banbridge RFC/Ulster) (1)
19. Charlie Ryan (UCD RFC/Leinster) (0)
20. Ronan Foley (UCD RFC/Leinster) (0)
21. Paddy Patterson (UCD RFC/Leinster) (0)
22. Conor Dean (St.Mary’s College RFC/Leinster) (5)
23. Angus Kernohan (Ballymena RFC/Ulster) (0)

Unavailable for selection:

Matthew Dalton – Ulster PRO14 squad
Aaron Hall – injured
Jonny Stewart – Ulster PRO14 squad

Ireland U20 6 Nations Fixtures and Results

Friday, 2rd February
France U20 34 – 24 Ireland U20, Stade Amédée Domenech, Brive

Friday, 9th February
Ireland U20 v Italy U20, 7.15pm, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin

Friday, 23rd February
Ireland U20 v Wales U20, 7.15pm, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin

Saturday, 9th March
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20, 7.15pm, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin

Friday, 16th March
England U20 v Ireland U20, 8pm, Ricoh Arena, Coventry

Tickets are available for the Ireland U20 home games via www.ticketmaster.ie.