The IRFU have announced an intake of 85 players to the National Talent Squad programme for the 2022/23 season.
Among them, three current Kilkenny College students – Sean Naughton and Stephen Smyth included in the Level 2 squad for players in their final year of secondary school while Adam Watchhorn is named to the Level 3 squad for players with two or more years left in school.
The NTS programme has been in existence since 2016 and its purpose is to identify, develop and support players who have the potential, ability, and drive to play professional rugby within Ireland.
The aim of the programme is to accelerate the development of young players of national interest between the ages of 16-21. The services provided prepare players to perform within the provincial and national pathways and the transition to the senior professional game. Recent NTS graduates have been capped at senior international level for Ireland including Ryan Baird, Craig Casey, James Hume, Michael Lowry and Tom O’Toole.
A large number of others all featured in the Emerging Ireland squad’s tour to South Africa earlier this month.
National Talent Squad Level 1 (Players who have left Secondary School)
Fiachna Barrett (Corinthians RFC) Sam Berman (Dublin University FC) Jack Boal (QUB RFC) Joe Charles (Ballynahinch RFC) David Colbert (Dublin University FC) Hugh Cooney (Clontarf FC) Josh Costello (Shannon RFC) Adam Deay (Lansdowne FC) Cameron Doak (Belfast Harlequins RFC) James Doyle (Lansdowne FC) Sean Edogbo (UCC RFC) Sean Fox (Corinthians RFC) Brian Gleeson (Garryowen FC) Ethan Graham (Ballynahinch RFC)
Fintan Gunne (Terenure RFC) George Hadden (Clontarf FC) Charlie Irvine (QUB RFC) Stephen Kiely (Old Crescent RFC) Mark Lee (Rainey Old Boys RFC) Gus McCarthy (UCD RFC) Patrick McCarthy (Dublin University FC) Henry McErlean (Terenure College RFC) Liam Molony (Dublin University FC) Ruben Moloney (UCD RFC) Ihechi Oji (UL Bohemians RFC) Andrew Osborne (Naas RFC) Conor O’Tighernaigh (UCD RFC) Danny Sheahan (UCC RFC) Jacob Sheahan (UCC RFC)
National Talent Squad Level 2 (Players in final year of Secondary School)
David Armstrong (Methodist College) Ambrose Bamber (Sligo RFC/Sligo Grammar) Jacob Boyd (RBAI) Tadhg Brophy (Newbridge College) Emmett Calvey (Ard Scoil Ris) Oliver Coffey (Blackrock College) Rory Ellerby (RBAI) Tom Farthing (Corinthians RFC/Colaiste Chroi Mhuire) Paidi Farrell (Tullamore RFC/St Mary’s Edenderry) Jules Fenelon (St Michael’s College) Mark Fitzgerald (Crescent College Comp) Max Flynn (Corinthians RFC/CC Roscrea) Caden Grant (Corinthians RFC/St Joseph’s College) Dylan Hicks (Bantry RFC/Colaiste Pobail) Lucas Kenny (Campbell College) Luke Kritzinger (Blackrock College) Tom Larke (Old Wesley RFC/St Columba’s College) Flynn Longstaff (Campbell College) Ben McFarlane (Methodist College)
James McKillop (Foyle College) Hugo McLaughlin (Gonzaga College) Blayze Molloy (Ballina RFC/Clongowes) Alex Mullen (Blackrock College) Jack Murphy (Presentation College Bray) Luke Murphy (Ard Scoil Ris) Sean Naughton (Kilkenny College) Dawid Novak (CBC Cork) Kamil Novak (CBC Cork) Ben O’Connor (PBC Cork) Michael O’Donovan (Bantry RFC/Colaiste Pobail) Jed O’Dwyer (Crescent College Comp) Jake O’Riordan (St Munchines College) Stephen Smyth (Kilkenny College) Andrew Sparrow (St Mary’s College) Alan Spicer (Belvedere College) Josh Stevens (Methodist College) Alex Usanov (Belvedere College) Bryn Ward (RBAI)
National Talent Squad Level 3 (Players with 2 or more years left in Secondary School)
Cian Brady (Monivea RFC/Colaiste an Eachreidh) Connor Fahy (Wexford Wanderers RFC/Good Counsel) Michael Foy (CBC Cork) Sean Hopkins (Ballina RFC/St Muredach’s College) Jamie Jackson (Portadown College) Clarke Logan (Coleraine Grammar School) Charlie Molony (Blackrock College) Aaron O’Brien (St Mary’s College) Diarmuid O’Connell (Sligo RFC/Sligo Grammar)
Gene O’Leary Kareem (PBC Cork) Mahon Ronan (Boyne RFC/St Marys Drogheda) Eoghan Smyth (Midleton RFC/Midleton College) Tom Stewart (St Michael’s College) Paddy Taylor (Newbridge College) Matt Te Pou (St Munchins College) Bryan Walsh (Corinthians RFC/Colaiste Einde) Adam Watchorn (Kilkenny College) Tom Wood (St Munchins College)