Tommy O'Brien will be the next Under 20 star to make Ireland breakthrough 1 year ago

Tommy O'Brien will be the next Under 20 star to make Ireland breakthrough

That is the championship gone but there is some hope for the future, at least.

Ireland will not be winning the 2018 Six Nations after they lost their second game from three championship outings, at Donnybrook Stadium.

Noel McNamara's side are still in with a mathematical chance of getting their hands on the title but the reality is that this crop will, in all likelihood, end up in mid-table. They may well beat Scotland, who are up next, but Romain Ntamack and his French flyers are three from three and looking good.

Against Wales, Ireland got off to dreadful starts in the first and second half. They were 12-0 down after 10 minutes and fought back to trail 19-10 at the break. The second half started with Ireland leaking another score and facing an even bigger mountain to climb.

Jack O'Sullivan hit back with two scores for the hosts but they found themselves 38-24 behind with 15 minutes to play. Scrumhalf Jonny Stewart sniped over for a try to give his side some hope but Wales went 41-31 up with a penalty.

That looked to be it until Ireland captain Tommy O'Brien - a star in this side - finished off a brilliant team score under the posts. Having moved onto the right wing for this match, O'Brien did the damage straight up the middle and at blistering pace.

It was excellent but it was not enough as Wales held on for a 41-38 victory.

On Saturday, at Lansdowne Road, Ireland will go into their senior Six Nations clash with Wales with recent U20 players James Ryan, Jacob Stockdale and Andrew Porter all in the starting XV. Jordan Larmour made his debut against the Italians and was back, and scoring, on Leinster duty not far from Donnybrook.

O'Brien will be following in their foot-steps and it will be sooner rather than later.