Four Trinity students have been included in the Ireland under-20 squad for the upcoming World Championships in France this summer. Michael Silvester, Jack Dunne, Dan Sheehan and Joe Byrne all represented Dublin University Football Club (DUFC) this year.
The experienced heads of Silvester and Dunne will be hoping to feature heavily across Ireland’s group stage fixtures in Perpignan, Narbonne and Béziers, with Sheehan and Byrne primed to take their first caps at under-20 level having been included in head coach Noel McNamara’s 28-strong squad.
While Silvester will be featuring at his second World Championships having travelled to Georgia last summer, Dunne, Sheehan and Byrne will all make their bow on their world stage in early June. Dunne impressed in a series of strong Six Nations displays this spring to earn his place, while DUFC’s triumph in the Fraser McMullen Cup gave forwards Sheehan and Byrne a chance to stake their claim for green shirts.
Announcing the squad, McNamara said: “It’s an exciting time for the players and management as we prepare to head to the south of France for the Under-20 World Championship. There’s a lot of talent in this squad and the players are all preparing well. We’re up against three physical sides in our pool, and with France up first, it will be a great test for the players on the opening day of the tournament and something that everyone is looking forward to.”
Ireland will compete in Pool C. Their opening assignment is one the side will certainly relish. DUFC’s four representatives will be looking to avenge a narrow loss to France in the Six Nations, after a sub-par performance in which Silvester lined out at full-back. Following on from their opening-day match with the hosts, Ireland will see out the group stages against South Africa and Georgia.
DUFC enjoyed a successful second season in the top flight of Irish rugby this year, avoiding relegation with victory over old rivals University College Dublin (UCD). This is reflected in the fact that no other club has provided as many players for the under-20 squad as DUFC.