Ireland Under-20 captain Charlie Ryan vowed his team will take the momentum from sealing Six Nations Grand Slam glory into this summer’s World Rugby Under-20 Championship.
The young Irish side had already won the Championship going into the final round of fixtures, but they sealed a comprehensive clean sweep with a 26-17 victory over Wales.
Noel McNamara’s side certainly weren’t at their best in Colwyn Bay, but in the end the final scoreline showed that Ireland took the chances available to them.
A delighted Ryan – who has excelled at lock in this tournament – said: “It’s absolutely brilliant. From the first game we knew we could do it (a Grand Slam) and we really backed ourselves.
“It’s great for it to come to fruition after five games and we’ve really been tested over the tournament. We have stuck together so well and I’m really proud of the boys.
“The message at half time was to stay calm and believe in our game. We didn’t have to do anything spectacular, just keep doing what we’ve been doing over the course of the championship.”
“Wales didn’t surprise us. We knew they were going to be absolutely brilliant and they were,” Ryan added.
“They’re an incredibly tough test, but this will give us confidence for the Junior World Cup in Argentina. We will back ourselves there like we always do.”
After Grand Slam glory, the junior Ireland side’s next priority is the Under-20 Championship in Argentina this summer where they have been drawn in a tough Pool B alongside England, Australia and Italy. Head coach McNamara will no doubt go into that one with confidence on the back of a Six Nations clean sweep, but the next challenge can wait for now.
Ryan said: “It’s going to be a quiet night ahead!”