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Connacht academy centre Cathal Forde is itching to play again for the Ireland under-20’s.
Forde says that the squad has a great atmosphere in training and that the side is raring to go.
“We are really just looking forward to getting out there and getting competitive rugby under our belts,” said Forde.
The Connacht prospect will don the number 12 shirt later today but game time in the past year has been hard to come by.
Forde only played for the Connacht Eagles a handful of times and some sevens tournaments only compliment that slightly.
However, he will have a familiar face on the touchline to help him through the match on Saturday.
📋 𝗧𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗔𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 🟢
Head Coach Richie Murphy has named his Ireland Match Day squad for Saturday's #U20SixNations opener against Scotland in Cardiff 🙌
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) June 18, 2021
Colm ‘Collie’ Tucker is the forwards coach for the Ireland U20s and is currently involved in the Connacht senior setup after being the academy’s Elite Player Development Officer.
“We would have had him since Under 17s, myself and a few of the other Connacht lads here so it has been good to have a familiar face here with the Connacht coaching staff.
“Obviously he was here last year and had massive experience at this level – it has been brilliant.”
Forde thinks that the experience he had in the U20 squad for last year’s curtailed Six Nations is important.
The experience of training with the Connacht seniors will also pay dividends for the 19-year-old.
Forde highlighted the advice given to him by established figures in the province as one of his biggest takeaways from his time with the seniors.
“Obviously, I got massive experience from the likes of Jack and Bundee, Forde noted.
“They have been fairly helpful to my game – Bundee knows his stuff and he has been great to me.
“I’m always looking for fixes for my game and if he spots them, they’ll call them out to me, give me a few tips.”
The energy in this year’s squad is similar to the Triple Crown winners of last year, according to Forde.
The free-flowing rugby visible last year could be on show again this year and the Connacht academy star is supportive of that.
“It is a case of enjoying our rugby and going out and give a performance.”