Ireland Under-20 captain Nick McCarthy is quietly confident ahead of their final Pool C match against New Zealand at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship In Italy.

Ireland, like New Zealand, have won both their pool games so far, meaning the teams have to battle it out tonight, 7.30pm kick-off, for a place in the semi-finals.

Scrum-half McCarthy said: “I think we’ve got a good bit of momentum behind us after two good wins. We’re really looking forward to the test tomorrow.

“I think it’s going to be a really tough match, but I think if we get our own stuff right we’ll be in a really good place.”

The UCD man added that Ireland will respect the Kiwis, but not treat them any differently to any other teams they face. He continued “I think it (respect) is important, but it’s also important not to see them as super heroes.

“They are only under 20 players like us as well and you can’t give them any more respect than any other team because at the end of the day it’s a two-horse race so we’re really looking forward to it and I think we’re very confident going into this match.”

McCarthy concluded: “There’s a great buzz always when you’re winning around camp and we’re looking to continue that buzz and get into the semi-finals.”

Meanwhile, there has been a late change to the XV with hooker Zack McCall withdrawn from the side due to a shoulder injury. He will be replaced by Sean McNulty.

Adam McBurney, who was called into the squad at the weekend to replace injured Jack Dwan, will take his place on the bench.

Ireland U20 (v New Zealand): Billy Dardis; Jack Owens, Garry Ringrose, Sam Arnold, Jacob Stockdale; Joey Carbery, Nick McCarthy; Andrew Porter, Sean McNulty, Oisin Heffernan, David O'Connor, Alex Thompson; Josh Murphy, Rory Moloney, Lorcan Dow. 

Replacements: Adam McBurney, Liam O'Connor, Conan O'Donnell, Cian Romaine, Stephen McVeigh, Charlie Rock, Tomás Quinlan, Fergal Cleary.