Port St Mary rugby player Patreece Bell made his first start for Ireland in the Under-20s Six Nations on Friday.

Having made his debut for the Irish side a fortnight earlier with a 30-minute appearance in the win over Italy, the former Southern Nomads junior player was handed his maiden start against Wales in Cork on Friday evening.

The 19-year-old tighthead prop formed part of a new-look Irish front row in front of a sellout 8,500-strong crowd and helped his team claim a 43-8 victory which keeps their hopes of a Grand Slam alive.

Ahead of the match against Wales, Bell and his team-mates trained with the senior Irish squad, something which Bell says was beneficial for him.

Speaking to www.irishrugby.ie, Bell said: ‘We trained with the senior squad last week in Dublin and one of the big messages coming out of that was staying calm in everything we do, our process. That sort of stuck with me.

‘Not being frantic, getting into position, our lineout calls, the systems, and just being calm. That’s probably the biggest learning.

‘We have to stick to our process and always be calm out there on the field because games can change quickly, and it’s all about how you deal with that.

‘The messages coming out of the senior squad really stuck with me and I’ll try and take those learnings forward.’

Having been born in London and grown up in the Isle of Man, Patreece joined Sale Sharks’ senior academy full-time from July 2022 and has been on loan at Sedgley Park Tigers.

‘When I was on loan at Sedgley Tigers, Ireland started to watch a few of my games and they must have liked what they saw because the coaches then invited me over to a training camp with the under-20s and things have just gone from there.’ explained Bell.

‘I grew up watching Ireland play rugby with my grandad when I was a kid, so playing for Ireland has always been something that has been on my mind and now that I am doing it, I’m just trying to make the most of the opportunity.

‘It’s been class so far. I’ve been welcomed into the group so well and I’ve enjoyed coming over and experiencing a different type of environment.’

Ireland under-20s are next in action against their English counterparts a week on Friday and, following his good showing against Wales, Bell will be hoping he’s done enough to retain a place in the squad.