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Posted 03 June 2015

Nine UCD rugby players represent Ireland at Under-20 world championship in Italy

The university’s club rugby team is punching above its weight on the international scene as nine of UCD’s players are on Ireland’s 28-man squad currently battling it out in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Italy.

The Ireland Under-20 team secured their first victory at the pool stages of the championship with a dramatic last-minute penalty to beat Argentina 18-16 in Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma, Italy, recently.

The tournament is taking place in Italy from June 2 to 22. Ireland share pool C with Argentina, Scotland and New Zealand.

The UCD players on the Irish squad are: Joey Carbery (UCD/Leinster); Billy Dardis (UCD/Leinster); Jack Dwan (UCD/Leinster); Jeremy Loughman (UCD/Leinster); Nick McCarthy (Captain); (UCD/Leinster); Sean McNulty (UCD/Munster), Josh Murphy (UCD/Leinster), Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster), Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster).

John Hammond, Administrator of Rugby at UCD, said it was an “honour” for the university’s rugby club to have such a sizeable representation at the  World Rugby Under-20 Championship.

“It is most encouraging to see the players given the recognition they deserve,” he said.

Asked why the university’s rugby club is so well represented on the Ireland Under-20 team, he said: “Top players from schools are attracted to UCD, not only for the excellent academic programmes, but also for rugby where they may play within the Leinster Rugby system, or in the All-Ireland League with UCD. The top-class sports facilities are also a significant consideration.”

UCD out-half Joey Carbery was instrumental in the Under-20 team’s victory in their first match of the competition over Argentina on Tuesday, June 2, scoring five penalties in total.

His teammate Tomás Quinlan (Cork Constitution) came on as a replacement out-half in the late stages of the match and scored the winning penalty in the 80th minute.

Since its inception in 2008, a total of 343 players have made the step up from the U-20 Championship (formerly the Junior World Championship) to win full international honours, with many of them expected to feature prominently at this year's Rugby World Cup in England.

Mr Hammond noted that UCD’s Luke McGrath and Dan Leavy have recently been selected for the Emerging Ireland panel for the forthcoming Tbilisi Cup, a competition that showcases some of the young rugby talent of several nations including Ireland, Italy, Argentina and South Africa.

The 2015 World Rugby Under-20 Championship will be broadcast to more than 100 countries around the world.

More than 160 million homes will be able to watch as the Ireland Under-20 team tries to improve on their fourth-place finish at last summer's tournament in New Zealand. Ireland’s games will be broadcast live on TG4.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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