We feel at home playing in Cork says Irish U20 rugby coach McNamara

We feel at home playing in Cork says Irish U20 rugby coach McNamara
Ireland U20's Jack Crowley is tackled by Eoghan Clarke of Munster Development in a recent game. Picture: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

IRELAND U20 coach Noel McNamara is expecting another raucous welcome for his team when they kick off their Six Nations Championship in Musgrave Park on Friday week.

He has described the famous Cork ground as the team’s ‘home’ and said his squad are really excited about having three games at the Ballyphehane venue this season when his side face Scotland, Wales and Italy.

He has included Leesiders Cian Hurley, Jack Crowley, Harry O’Riordan, in his squad for the reigning champions opening joust against Scotland.

“It was a fantastic home for us last year. I was reading something over the last couple of days and it summed it up best. It said: ‘a house is where you live and a home is where you want to be’. It is very much a case of this has become our home,” said McNamara.

Head coach Noel McNamara. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Head coach Noel McNamara. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

“The lads are really excited to have the opportunity to play here over the course of the next while.

“The reality is we played as many games last year in CRAI Rugby Club in Santa Fe as we played in Cork, it was two in both.

“It was very clear and very evident what it meant for us to play and I have absolutely no doubt that it will be exactly the same this year.”

Having won the Six Nations last year doesn’t mean they will repeat it this year given the turnover in players each season.

“The reality and the cyclical nature of the U20s is it’s very much a one-year programme.

“It’s a new group. While there are things we will look replicate, the reality is you can’t copy and paste either.

“Just because something worked for last year’s group it doesn’t necessarily mean it is automatically going to work for this year’s group.”

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