By Kieran Galvin
Robbie Henshaw has been named in the Ireland U-20 rugby team for the Six Nations championship clash with England in Athlone tonight (Friday).
The 19-year-old from Athlone will be making his first appearance for the U-20s, having been selected at full-back for the Dubarry Park encounter.
Henshaw has been receiving rave reviews for his performances for the Connacht senior team this season. And, no doubt, the local rugby fraternity will be really looking forward to seeing him perform on home soil.
The Buccaneers player captained Marist College to the Connacht Schools Senior Cup last year - only the second time that the Marist has won this trophy in their history.
The Coosan teenager has since made a meteoric rise through the rugby ranks. He has made the full-back position his own and he was chosen as man of the match in Connacht's final Heineken Cup group match against Zebre.
Henshaw was called into the Irish senior squad earlier this week, before being released for duty with the U-20s.
A former Westmeath minor footballer, Henshaw also played for the Wolfhounds - Ireland's seconds or 'A' team - in their recent clash with the England Saxons.
Ireland U-20 Head Coach Mike Ruddock has selected David Panter and Rory Scholes alongside Henshaw in a new look back three.
Peter Dooley from Birr has been named in the front row alongside George McGuigan and Chris Taylor.
Darren Sweetnam - who had showed major promise in hurling with Cork before deciding to focus on rugby - has been named among the replacements.
The Ireland U20s lost their opening game against Wales (15-17), so they will be even more determined to secure a victory against defending champions England.
Ireland's other home game in the Six Nations U-20 Championship will take place at Dubarry Park on Friday, March 8.
The Ireland U-20 v England U-20 game will broadcast live on RTE 2, with coverage starting at 7.30.
Ireland Under-20 Team v England
(Dubarry Park, Athlone - Friday, 8 February, kick-off 7.35pm)
15. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/ Connacht)
14. David Panter (Corinthians/Connacht)
13. Tom Daly (Lansdowne/Leinster)
12. Mark Roche (Lansdowne/ Connacht)
11. Rory Scholes (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
10. Rory Scannell (Dolphin/Munster)
9. Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) Captain
1. Peter Dooley (Lansdowne/Leinster)
2. George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons/Exile
3. Chris Taylor (Malone/Ulster)
4. Gavin Thornbury (UCD/Leinster)
5. John Donnan (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
6. Peadar Timmins (UCD/Leinster)
7. Ryan Murphy (Dolphin/Munster)
8. Conor Joyce (Malone/Ulster)
16. John Andrew (Ballymena/Ulster)
17. Ryan Furness (Worcester Warriors/Exile)
18. Adam Boland (Lansdowne/ Connacht)
19. Sean McCarthy (Shannon/Munster)
20. Josh Van Der Flier (UCD/Leinster)
21. John Creighton (Malone /Ulster)
22. Eogháin Quinn (Lansdowne/ Leinster)
23. Darren Sweetnam (UCC/Munster)