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Leinster academy utility player Chris Cosgrave is honoured to represent the Ireland under-20’s at the upcoming U20 Six Nations Championship in Cardiff, Wales.
Cosgrave added that it feels even more special for him after the year everyone has had.
Personally, it saw the academy prospect, who can play anywhere along the back three, amass limited minutes for Leinster A.
Furthermore, the St Michael’s College product did not play for UCD in his first year there due to the pandemic.
However, he feels that the squad are well-prepared for the tournament after the training camp that they have had.
“We had a few games against Leinster and Munster, so we are building nicely going into Saturday,” said Cosgrave.
The Irish speedster looks forward to being led out onto the pitch by captain Alex Kendellen.
Cosgrave describes the Munster man as an amazing choice for the captain’s armband who leads by example.
“One of my fondest memories of him would be we played England in the Under-18 competition and I think he made something like 30-something carries in the game and after the game, he was flat out on the floor, he could barely stand up,” Cosgrave detailed.
“That gives you an idea of where his leadership is at – he’s been amazing with the players and that’s really, really good.”
The U20’s star values his time at St Michael’s, having been there since third class.
He joins the school’s impressive production line that includes Ireland international locks James Ryan and Ryan Baird.
Cosgrave explained that there was something special about the school while he was there.
“I think the relationship between coaches and players is pretty special. I think a lot of credit could go down to Andy Skehan and Emmet MacMahon for the hours they have put in individually and as a team. They have put an incredible amount of time into that.
“Then I suppose there is always that special feeling of playing with people from your school. You spend each day with them, and they are memories that will last a lifetime.”
He clarified that all the coaches involved with St. Michaels are “really strong” currently.
The Leinster academy member earned his spot in the province’s ranks after his performances helped his school to a Junior and Senior Cup.
Moving into the Leinster academy led to two months of training with the province’s senior squad in Dublin earlier this year.
Cosgrave said that his time with the seniors was enjoyable and helped him to focus on his game as it was a “full training environment.”
The versatile talent credited the Byrne brothers – Ross and Harry – and centre Max O’Reilly for encouraging him and helping him while he was with the senior squad.
Cosgrave also noted that “Felipe [Contepomi] gave [him] quite a lot of his time as well in terms of the coaching side of things, which was very good.”
The time he spends studying New Zealand and Chiefs fullback Damian McKenzie is sure to help as well.
The Ireland U20’s star will value his experience in Cardiff just like he has with past events.
He will want to get recognition during the tournament to help further his career, and with the positivity surrounding the Irish setup, he may get it.
Ireland U20s play Scotland U20s at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday, 19th June.
The game will be available to watch on RTÉ One with coverage starting at 1:40 pm and kick-off at 2:00 pm.