squad announced for france

25 May 2017

Colleges and Universities Head Coach Greg Yelverton has named an eighteen-man squad to travel to the North-eastern town of Épinal to take on the French Universities on June 7th in the build-up to August's World University Games.

As fate would have it, in the draw for the Games on May 11th, both teams would be drawn together in Pool A along with the hosts Taipei, and Mexico. The Irish will take the field again with Les Bleus in their opening pool game on Friday August 18th in New Taipei City, Xinzhuang Stadium with both sides anxious to get off to the best possible start with only two teams from the four qualifying for the Quarter Finals.

While Yelverton would have rather avoid the French at this early of a stage, he views next month's friendly as a good opportunity to see how his side currently fare and demonstrate to him why they should be on the plane to Taipei.

"It will be about us looking at players against top quality opposition and trying to see where we are as a group before the Games. France are a very strong University National team that will be very competitive at the Games," said Yelverton. "The fixture will give us a chance to have a look at France, and more importantly for me and our staff we have more contact time with the players and been away will help us see players and get to know them before the final Squad is announced," he continued.

The last time the squad assembled was for a friendly against the Republic of Ireland Amateurs earlier this month. Yelverton used the game as an opportunity to run the rule over a number of different players to what has been in previous squads. He was delighted with what the unfamiliar faces produced and has kept faith with six of them for the French test.

"That game was perfect for us to look at those players in our environment, it was good to see how they dealt with our style of play, like I said before the game, it was a case of us having a look at players. The WUG is not until August and with International football and players playing with different clubs a lot can happen so it is important for me to see as many players possible. I am working towards the Games squad so any time players can play in front of me, they advertise their claims for a place."

Yelverton has also included three fresh faces in the squad with Bray Wanderers & IT Blanchardstown full back Alan Kehoe joining UCD's Greg Sloggett and young Galway United & NUI Galway defender Maurice Nugent in the squad for the very first time.

"As you know there are a lot of good technical players playing week in week out in the SSE Airtricity League that are eligible for this team, I have seen all three a few times at the assessments and at the likes of the Collingwood Cup and UMBRO Colleges Cup games," said the Cork man. "They are all talented players and now myself and the staff will get to see them in our environment and get a closer look at them. They need to step up now as there are players that are missing out on France but that does not necessarily mean they will miss out on Taipei."

Matthew Connor (Waterford IT) Ian Molloy (IT Blanchardstown)
Alan Kehoe (IT Blanchardstown), Ross Taheny (DCU), David Brookes (Athlone IT),Maurice Nugent, Gary Kineen (Both NUI Galway) Sean McLoughlin, Ben McAuliffe (Both UCC)
Shane Daly-Butz (UCC), Greg Sloggett, Daire O'Connor, Jason McClelland (All UCD) Conor Barry (NUI Galway), Jamie Hollywood (IT Blanchardstown)
Garbhan Coughlan (UL), Jason Lyons (Athlone IT), Daniel Pender (UCC)

France v Ireland
Stade de la Colombiere, Epinal
Wednesday 7th June
KO: 2pm

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