South Africans Kian Hilton and Jordan Neill have been included in Ireland's squad for the Under 19 World Cup that gets underway next month.

Hilton is a wicket-keeper batsman who has yet to play club cricket here, but the Irish passport holder has signed for NCU Premiership outfit Cliftonville Academy for the 2024 season.

He did play for Munster Heat in the 2023 Future Series, and also scored 43 in a low key behind closed doors Ireland Academy intra-squad match.

All-rounder Neill also featured in the intra-squad and Future Series, while he played two matches for Merrion in the Leinster Premier League, scoring 17 runs at 8.50, and taking three wickets at 25.67.

Jordan Neill

Missing out on the 15-player squad are CSNI duo James West and Adam Leckey, who are named as non-travelling reserves along with Hayden Melly.

Clontarf duo Luke Thomson and Aaron McGeehan, plus Balbriggan's Eoin Birch played during the summer for Pete Johnston's side but haven't been named among the 18.

Railway Union's Philippe Le Roux captains the side - one of eight LCU-based players in the squad.

All-rounders Scott Macbeth and Gavin Roulston fly the flag for the North West, while the NCU have the CSNI trio of Harry Dyer, Ryan Hunter and Finn Lutton, as well as Carson McCullough of CIYMS.

“We had several selection headaches due to the depth of young talent continuing to emerge in Irish cricket,' said Head Coach Pete Johnston.

"In addition to the touring party, we have named three official reserves, they are Adam Leckey (seam bowling all-rounder), James West (leg spinner) and Hayden Melly (wicketkeeper-batter). 

"While it is important that all stay ready, both Adam and James will have an opportunity to push for the next World Cup in 2026.

“The team will go in with confidence, given their performances last season, which included a one-day international win over England and also because they have been training very professionally, covering all bases required for high performance," added Johnston.

"We look forward to what should be an excellent Training Camp at the world-class facility in Potchefstroom along with some high-quality fixtures.

“We are in a very competitive challenging group with USA, India and Bangladesh, but we will be striving as high as we can and approaching each game with a mindset of how to win and leaving no stone unturned in our preparation and what we can execute and control to perform to the best of our ability.

Macdara Cosgrave (Pembroke), Harry Dyer (CSNI), Daniel Forkin (Merrion), Kian Hilton (Cliftonville Academy), Ryan Hunter (CSNI), Philippe le Roux (captain) (Railway Union), Finn Lutton (CSNI), Scott Macbeth (Brigade), Carson McCullough (CIYMS), John McNally (Clontarf), Jordan Neill (Merrion), Oliver Riley (YMCA), Gavin Roulston (Bready), Matthew Weldon (The Hills), Reuben Wilson (YMCA)

Non-Travelling Reserves
Adam Leckey (CSNI), Hayden Melly (Brigade), James West (CSNI)

Coaching and Support staff
Peter Johnston (Head Coach), Abert van der Merwe (Manager), Andre Botha (Assistant Coach), Darren Nicol (Physiotherapist), Ollie Kanavan (Analyst), Stuart Thompson (Strength & Conditioning)

19 January: Ireland U-19 v USA U-19; Manguang Oval, Bloemfontein.
22 January: Ireland U-19 v Bangladesh U-19; Manguang Oval, Bloemfontein.
25 January: Ireland U-19 v India U-19; Manguang Oval, Bloemfontein.