Fintan Gunne surrounds himself with good people.

The Ireland U20s scrum-half has player of the tournament-elect Sam Prendergast outside him and an almighty pack of forwards to feed him the ball on a platter.

Ahead of Sunday's Grand Slam showdown with England at a sold-out Musgrave Park (5pm, live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player), the Terenure player has been eager to praise those who make his game look simple.

"He carries himself in a similar way to Johnny Sexton, especially if you are in the wrong," he says with a smile after a favourable comparison between his fly-half Prendergast (below) and the Ireland skipper.

"He's very laid back on the ball, when he catches it he just looks so casual, sticks it in behind or grubbers it through but he’s not afraid to have a word with you if you are stepping out of line."

Gunne and Prendergast have been team-mates and rivals over the last few years, only missing out on more game-time together due to Covid restrictions.

"We started in Leinster 18s but that was the Covid year," adds Gunne, who scored tries against Italy and Scotland.

"We did a bit of training but didn’t get to play any matches.

"We stayed in contact then. We played each other in the Senior Cup semi-final [in 2020], when they [Newbridge College] beat us [St Michael's College]. He had that up against me.

Gunne in action for St Michael's in 2020

"And then Leinster 19s was when we first got to play with each other, we got a run of three games there in the interpros. This year is when we really took off as then halfbacks and I enjoy playing with him.

"We know how each other plays and even being in Leinster [academy] together, in the gym every day, we have built up a good relationship.

"We feel comfortable with each other on the pitch and are not afraid to pass ideas. I think that it is a good advantage when you are in the same province together."

Ireland ahead of their 82-7 win over Scotland

While Prendergast has excelled, Gunne, who says he models himself on New Zealand's Aaron Smith and has been taking tips from Luke McGrath and Jamison Gibson-Park at Leinster, can't fail to recognise the platform that the forwards provides.

"It is so easy when we have the pack that we have this year," he says.

"In the scrums I can just leave it in there, I have a call for them to just keep scrummaging and win that penalty.

"If that doesn’t go to plan we have great backs to spin it out wide. When we are in their 22, we are just looking to get the forwards on the ball and power over. Our backrow has been incredible in this tournament."

England are still in the hunt for the title and could overtake Ireland if they win with a bonus point.

France, meanwhile, are just three points behind and face Wales in the final game.

Gunne says their aim is to to get the job done in their own tie and the squad have been working on the English threat.

"They have a few of their big dogs coming back this week," he says of a visiting side who lost 42-7 at home to France last day out.

"Their number 8 [Chandler Cunningham-South] is a massive ball carrier who plays for London Irish and they are bringing him back for this game.

"They have a good 13 [Rekeiti Ma'asi-White] and their back three is very strong; fast lads and they will try and get it into their hands, use their pace out wide.

"It would be absolutely incredible [to win the Grand Slam], something you dream of as a kid.

"We won the Junior Cup when I was in school with St Michael's but this would definitely top it."

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