Wales U20 head coach Gareth Williams has made three changes to the starting line-up and brought in two fresh faces on the replacements bench for Friday’s clash against England.
Ospreys winger Dewi Cross gets his first start in the championship, replacing Deon Smith who moves on to the bench while Dragons scrum half Dafydd Buckland starts his first game after two appearances as a replacement, coming in for the injured Jamie Hill.
Dewi Lake gets the nod at hooker and captain for the second time and packs down alongside fellow Osprey Rhys Davies in the front- row. Cai Evans is named at fly-half to complete the Osprey contingent in the squad.
In the forwards, Scarlets No 8 Iestyn Rees replaces Taine Basham who has been released back to regional rugby after his hat-trick try-scoring exploits against Italy while Dragons teammates Dan Babos and Max Ayling join the substitutes bench.
“Iestyn Rees replaces Taine Basham in the back row as the Dragons have held Taine for Pro 14 duty. Iestyn has been very patient for his chance and has been training superbly," said Williams.
“Jamie Hill and Harri Morgan’s injuries give Daf Buckland a good opportunity to show what he is capable of. He played the majority of the game against Italy in what was a wonderful result, so he is in a good place. It’s also good to see Dan Babos returning too, and the depth in this position is pleasing to see.
“Dewi Cross is very familiar to our environment and it is great to include him in the starting team again. He has worked hard for this opportunity, and will be a great asset to us.
“Max Ayling is part of a very young group of second rows we are currently excited about working with.
“All four we have blooded over the last few weeks are Under 19’s, therefore they are getting great exposure which will not only benefit our U20’s programme for the next 18 months, but for the longer term of Welsh rugby in that position.”
After two away games in the opening rounds of the U20 Six Nations, Williams is looking forward to his first outing in charge of his young squad in North Wales.
“We’re really excited to be home again, and the support of North Wales has been amazing over the years, so we can’t wait to get out there and continue our growth as a squad.”
Wales U20 v England U20, Stadiwm Zipworld,
Friday 22nd February, KO 7.05pm (Live on S4C)
15 Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues)
14 Tomi Lewis (Scarlets)
13 Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues)
12 Aneurin Owen (Dragons)
11 Dewi Cross (Ospreys)
10 Cai Evans (Ospreys)
9 Dafydd Buckland (Dragons)
1 Rhys Davies (Ospreys)
2 Dewi Lake (CAPT – Ospreys)
3 Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues)
4 Ed Scragg (Dragons)
5 Teddy Williams (Cardiff Blues)
6 Lennon Greggains (Dragons)
7 Jac Morgan (Aberavon/Scarlets)
8 Iestyn Rees (Scarlets)
16 Will Griffiths (Dragons) 17 Tom Devine (Dragons) 18 Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets) 19 Max Ayling (Dragons) 20 Ellis Thomas (Llanelli) 21 Dan Babos (Dragons), 22 Sam Costello (Leicester) 23 Deon Smith (Dragons)